Simon Craufurd
Simon Craufurd

New regional posts for business pair Trevor and Simon

Two rural business owners have been newly elected by Scottish Land & Estates to serve as regional chairmen for the organisation.

Trevor Jackson and Simon Houison Craufurd are to take up the chairmanship of the South East and South West regions respectively.

Trevor is owner and operator of Charlesfield Farm at St Boswells near Melrose. The business has developed significantly over the past decade under Trevor’s leadership – the fourth generation of his family to be at the helm.

In 2015, Charlesfield opened a £10 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant that produces eco-friendly methane gas from locally grown feedstock, then feeds it directly into the nearby energy grid, generating enough energy to supply up to 4,000 homes in the Borders.
Charlesfield’s commitment to diversification whilst benefiting the local community led to the estate being highly commended at the Scottish Rural Awards 2018, held last month, whilst the estate won the Iver Salvesen Green Business Award at Scottish Land & Estates’ 2017 Helping it Happen awards.

Simon is owner and operator of Craufurdland Estate near Kilmarnock, which has been in the family since 1245. Simon also undertakes the running of the castle on the estate and during his management, the estate has increased its diversified businesses, concentrating mainly on leisure, and tourism, and welcomes more than 10,000 visitors each year – many of whom pay to wade through 10km of mud, rivers and bogs during their now famous ‘Muddy Trials’.

And Simon takes on the new SLE role at a busy time for the estate, with Craufurdland shortly about to open its new venue, The Laird’s Table, a state-of-the-art restaurant and leisure space in a stunning location on the shore of its own loch.

Simon Houison Craufurd

In their respective roles, Trevor and Simon will combine their own estate business with working alongside SLE’s regional and headquarters staff to support members on a variety of issues such as Brexit, land reform and rural policy.

Trevor Jackson said: ‘I’m really looking forward to taking up the role with Scottish Land & Estates and helping the organisation and its members to flourish. We’ve enjoyed great success at Charlesfield by thinking innovatively and I know from fellow members that there is some really creative projects going on that collectively, we as an organisation can encourage and support.’

Simon Houison Craufurd added: ‘The rural economy has been undergoing a period of substantial change and with issues such as Brexit, the challenges and opportunities for estates and land-based businesses have never been greater. I hope my experiences developing my own business can assist others and in turn contribute to growing the economy and employment.’

Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We’re delighted that Trevor and Simon have agreed to take on the chairmanships of these regions as we recognise the demands that are already placed upon them both. Our regional set-up is undergoing substantial change to devolve many responsibilities to a local level in order to create a more effective set-up.

‘Their influence, knowledge and skill will be of huge benefit to the members and we look forward to working closely with Trevor and Simon on the continued improvement of our regional activity.”