We are a family who are the lucky custodians of 70 acres of beautiful Perthshire countryside. It's our job and mission to maintain and enhance the land through building complementary lifestyle businesses that bring friends, families and communities together while remaining committed to our core values ...
NURTURE, HARMONY AND SUSTAINABILITY
When we purchased Fossoway Stables in the summer of 2011, it was daunting to say the least. Until then, our experience of land management was limited to maintaining a small domestic garden. So, armed with a lawnmower, a fork, a spade and boundless enthusiasm, we set out to tend to our 70 acre Perthshire estate!
Now, almost ten years later, we are still here, and we are getting started on the next stage of our journey.
We've described Fossoway Stables as a "modern country estate" in Perthshire and what do we mean by that? Well, let's take the easy bit first - we are situated in Perthshire, among beautiful rolling hills and we have pastures, paddocks, a wood and streams running through our land. It is idyllic.
The more challenging idea is that of a modern country estate. We are not the 'hunting, fishing, shooting' form of estate - that would be a challenge for the six of us all living at Fossoway Stables, all confirmed vegetarians! To explain what we are and what we're trying to be, is more difficult than saying what we are not. But let's start at least with the activities we have now, and are planning, at Fossoway Stables.
Our original starting point was to manage a full-service equestrian centre - KA Equestrian - which had been set up in 2009 by Karen. We also offer accommodation on site in The Lodge at Fossoway Stables. In addition, we run our education-focused charity, Acorn Charitable Trust, from here. Most excitingly, we are in the final stages of setting up FossoPLAY, an outdoor children's nursery that will be managed by Chris and situated in the woodland. With many more exciting developments in the works, we truly are at the start of a busy period of growth here at Fossoway Stables.
One of us (Gordon!), in a flash of insight and inspiration, saw the potential for a re-branding of our existing businesses to bring them into line with FossoPLAY - The Lodge at Fossoway Stables could become FossoSTAY, KA Equestrian could become FossoNEIGH .... eggs from our chickens could be FossoLAY, taking a crop from our fields could be FossoHAY ... you see the idea? However, in a near unanimous, though flawed vote, this idea was rejected!
We have further plans for the land both of a business nature as well as some that are more likely to be established as social enterprises, but rather than set those plans out now, it's maybe better to try to explain what we're trying to achieve here at Fossoway Stables. Our goal is to make Fossoway Stables both a home for us all, as well as a centre for a number of activities that help us carry out our duty of stewardship of the land. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are focusing our efforts around the principles that;
a) our activities will be regenerative and distributive. We aim to make each of our activities part of a circular economy whereby we re-use or recycle as much as possible, getting away from a "take, make and dispose" model of economic life;
b) our activities acknowledge what is happening to the world in terms of the human impact on our ecology, and we will be doing what we can, in our small way, to help off-set this. We do not (as of yet - we're starting the process of conversion) have organic status, but we use organic products and we grow and operate organically to the greatest extent that we can. The major by-product of our equine guests (perhaps the most flattering way to describe the material!) is used to fertilise our vegetable beds in the kitchen garden. We provide a safe environment not only for the horses, but for our dog, cat, chickens and the pheasants, deer, rabbits and other wildlife who choose to share the land with us. And ....
c) our activities pay heed to our responsibility to society, both local and more wide-spread. Our charity, Acorn Charitable Trust, provides funding for Scottish students studying anywhere in the world, and for students from anywhere in the world who are studying in Scotland. We look to provide employment that is rewarding in many ways, not least by providing, at a minimum, the living wage.
Although we've been here for almost ten years now, we are still at the start of our journey. We like to think of ourselves in terms of our stewardship here as being in the teenage/early twenties part of our lifecycle - we are enthusiastic, idealistic, and probably still relatively immature and lacking in knowledge! We know that we will make mistakes along the way, just as we have done over the last decade, but we firmly believe that we can continue to learn, to improve, and to make Fossoway Stables both a wonderful place to live as well as a pleasure for our clients to call their "home away from home".
Welcome to Fossoway Stables.
Moira, Gordon, Karen, Chris, Cora & Callan