Meikle Creoch Farm
Our farm extends to 210 acres which is situated in the upper reaches of the River Nith valley. The land varies greatly from grassland, used for grazing cattle and sheep or silage production, to lowland peat bog. There are 3 separate small woods, planted with mixed hardwood and conifer trees.
During the summer months cattle (suckler cows and calves, together with other young cattle) and sheep can be seen in the fields. During the winter there are only sheep on the farm. Meikle Creoch is a working farm, but no livestock are housed in the buildings on the farm in the winter.
The Nith valley was a glacial valley in the last ice age. As a result, much of the farm is underlain with boulder clay. You can see some of the boulders in the remaining stone walls and where we have dug them out of the ground. In fact 5 boulders form part of the garden at Mote Cottage.
There are 3 areas on the farm which are classed as lowland peat bogs. Lowland Peat Bogs have been under constant pressure for hundreds of years – drained for agriculture, mined for fuel and for peat. Now there is only a fraction of the former extent of lowland bogs that there once was, but those that remain are amongst the richest habitats we possess in terms of biodiversity.
The 3 small woods on the farm are planted with mixed hardwood and conifer trees to give as much diversity in tree species as possible for birds and insect life. Deer can regularly be seen as the woods provide shelter for them as well. There are 2 field hedges also on the farm. Initially planted and fenced on both sides to establish an extended hedge 6 metres wide. A mixture of hawthorn and blackthorn, with some holly, elder and hazel, they have self seeded over the years to provide a dense hedge. This provides shelter for the livestock in bad weather but more importantly gives shelter and nesting sites for a variety of birds and small mammals. We do not cut the hedges, allowing them to grow, flower and fruit, proving food for the birds and insects.
Next to the River Nith the fields are on gravel beds, stone dropped by the river over thousands of years. Although the river seems little more than a stream most of the time, especially in dry summers, this can dramatically change during spells of heavy rain. The volume of water pouring off the surrounding moor land can make the river increase beyond recognition. The river bursts its banks and floods the adjacent fields on the lower part of the farm. This is also repeated on the north side of the farm where the boundary is The Loch O’ Th’ Lowes and its outlet which joins into the river Nith nearer to New Cumnock.
Guests are free to walk around the farm, though please do not approach the cattle.
The birdlife is abundant and varied. Swans, geese, ducks and cormorants can be found near the loch. Ducks, herons, oyster catchers can be seen near the river. Birds of prey like buzzards, kestrels and owls together with swallows can be seen over the woods and fields. A large variety of garden birds are around the cottages like chaffinches, goldfinch, greenfinch, blue tit, coal tit, great tit, robin, wren, goldcrest, dunnock, sparrow and more.
Course fishing is free on the farm loch. Fly fishing is available on the Nith. We have 2 fishing permits for New Cumnock Angling Association. Please note fishing on lochs and rivers is seasonal. There are numerous fly fishing ponds in the area.