I know Bunloit very well having lived there, managed it and cared for it for over 20 years until last year. On the whole I am in favour of re-wilding, although I believe the right species must be introduced and they need to be cared for. For those who do not know Bunloit is already a wild area in a rural environment. It cannot be compared with Knepp Estate which was intensively farmed prior to re-wilding, is much larger and in a suburban area.
I am also very mush in favour of doing everything we can to mitigate climate change which is why we invested heavily in renewables when we were at Bunloit; each property having a small wind turbine and there were also 2 PV arrays.
It was always our intention to leave Bunloit as natural and wild as possible and we were happy for people to walk over the Estate and people with special interests were always welcomed. I like the idea of school children learning more about the natural world by visiting Bunloit.
I am assuming that North Bunloit is actually what most of us always called Borlum Wood. I find it hard to believe that the removal of 70k trees that we were obliged to plant by Forestry Scotland followed by the construction of 23 buildings can be carbon neutral. I think this proposed development needs to be put into context. When we first moved to Bunloit there were a maximum of 20 houses along the road and everyone knew everyone. Over the years there has been a lot of building and there are now probably nearly 50 houses. The largest development was at Ancarraig when planning was given for 5 houses. The new proposal of 16 houses and 7 industrial units dwarfs that development. I understand that planning permission has been given for a large development in Drumnadrochit and so it begs the question as to who will want to live up Bunloit Hill when there will be affordable houses in the village.
There have always been water problems at Bunloit and I do not understand how anyone can guarantee that spring water supplies will not be affected either by building works or supply once the wells have been sunk.
It is said that in 10 months none of the team has experienced problems on the road. I suggest that this is partly due to the pandemic with much reduced traffic flow and also a bad winter. One of the major problems of all the building work up at Bunloit has been the construction traffic on the road and the construction of this number of buildings will be even worse.
I have a feeling that there is a misunderstanding of the local environment and the need for houses whether eco or not up at Bunloit. Bunloit is classified as being in the hinterland which means a presumption against building, particularly on this scale. It is a beautiful unspoilt place and already a haven for wildlife, fauna and flora, please don’t spoil it.
Bunloit has never been a sporting estate