Many thanks to The Mar Lodge Estate
for facilitating this camera's location and to Aberdeenshire Council for capitally funding its installation in partnership with The River Dee Trust & Dee District Salmon Fishery Board.
Mar Lodge Estate encompasses over 72,000 acres of breathtaking Cairngorms mountain and moorland landscape, offering exceptional red deer stalking, walked-up grouse shooting, and salmon and sea-trout fishing on the renowned River Dee in Scotland. A sporting holiday at Mar Lodge combines comfortable accommodation in the historic Mar Lodge, originally built for Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's grand-daughter, and fully renovated in the 1990s, with the expertise and hospitality of knowledgeable stalkers and ghillies. To provide an authentic Highland stalking experience, Garron ponies are employed whenever possible to transport game from the hills. Mar Lodge can accommodate over 30 guests across five self-contained apartments, featuring a drawing room, dining room, and billiards room. For smaller groups, there are two luxurious cottages nearby, accommodating between eight and ten guests.The salmon fishing season at Mar Lodge commences on February 1st and concludes on September 30th. Due to its location in the upper reaches of the River Dee system, salmon are typically not observed in significant numbers on the Lower River beat until late April or early May. By the end of June, salmon can be found throughout the Mar Lodge waters. Anglers who appreciate fishing in pristine and unspoiled countryside will find Mar Lodge to be an exceptional destination. They can explore miles of fishing pools, untouched by human intervention, amidst serene surroundings where encounters with red deer, golden eagles, and a plethora of stunning flora and fauna are common.Mar Lodge Estate represents the largest remaining portion of the historic Earldom of Mar. Following the involvement of John "Bobbing John" Erskine, the 6th Earl of Mar, in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, the estate was confiscated in 1716, marking the end of the feudal landholding system prevalent in the Earldom of Mar. However, the process of resolving the forfeiture took several years. The subsequent owners of the estate were James Erskine, Lord Grange, brother of the Earl of Mar, and David Erskine, Lord Dun. Between 1730 and 1737, Dalmore, the westernmost part of the estate, was acquired by the astute entrepreneur William Duff of Dipple, forming the core of Mar Estate. Over time, the minor lairdships surrounding the Invercauld and Mar estates were gradually absorbed, leaving these two estates as the sole remaining ones in Braemar.During the 19th century, the estate shifted its focus towards recreational shooting and fishing, leading to the construction of Hunting Lodges such as Derry Lodge, Geldie Lodge, and Bynack Lodge. Only the hamlet of Inverey remains as a vestige of the estate's clearance, while parts of Braemar were also closely associated with Mar Estate well into the 20th century. In 1879, Alexander William George Duff became the 6th Earl Fife upon the death of his father, James. In 1889, he married the Princess Royal and was subsequently made the 1st Duke of Fife. Following his passing in 1912, the estate was managed by trustees before eventually being inherited by Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife.From 1942 to 1944, Company 25 of the 2nd Forestry District of the Canadian Forestry Corps operated a lumber camp on the eastern side of Lui Bridge, contributing to the war effort by felling and processing trees.In 1959, Alexander Ramsay inherited the estate from his aunt. In 1962, the Mar Lodge Estate briefly came under the ownership of the Ashdale Property Company, which subsequently sold it to the Swiss Panchaud family. Under the management of brothers Gerald and John Panchaud, the estate operated as a commercial sporting venture, with the lodge functioning as a hotel. Vehicle tracks were constructed throughout the estate, including one leading to the summit of Beinn a' Bhùird for a proposed skiing development. The Panchauds also initiated the construction of a ski center on the hill behind Mar Lodge.In 1989, Mar Lodge Estate Inc. acquired the estate, focusing on sporting purposes while prioritizing sensitive land management and facility improvements. The renovation of Mar Lodge was unfortunately interrupted by a fire in 1991 but was eventually completed in 1993.On June 30, 1995, the National Trust for Scotland acquired Mar Lodge Estate. The Trust secured substantial financial assistance from both private and public organizations, including a conditional offer of £4.5 million from the Easter Charitable Trust and over £10 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A significant portion of the funds raised contributed to the purchase, while additional funds were allocated as an endowment. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) entered into various agreements, including a 25-year Management Agreement, a 5-year Management Plan, and a 1-year Costed Capital Project Programme with the Trust, ensuring ongoing collaboration and the provision of public funding. The acquisition was completed with the understandingthat SNH would actively participate in the management of the estate.