Three Scottish farming businesses have been nominated for the Innovation in Farming Award as part of the national Helping it Happen Awards scheme organised by Scottish Land & Estates.

Arbikie Highland Estate; Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen; and Farming Partners were announced as the finalists yesterday (Monday, August 8).

Arbikie Highland Estate

Arbikie Highland Estate in Angus is owned by the Stirling family, who have been farming for over 400 years.

Brothers Iain, David and John currently run it and added a distillery in their operation. They aim to develop a ‘field to bottle’ model of growing, harvesting and distilling everything on-site.

Scottish Land & Estates said Arbikie Highland Estate is “leading the way” in decarbonisation of the drinks sector.

The company said the estate’s “game-changing” pea-based gin Nàdar is setting the tone for a sustainable supply chain for other distilliers to follow.

Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen

Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen is based at Cowbog Farm, Montbattle, near Kelso, and has as been home to the Wilson family since 1938.

Three generations are currently managing and protecting the site that is set in the Scottish Borders.

Scottish Land & Estates said seasonal, locally sourced food is at the heart of operations of Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen and ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible.

Farming Partners

Farming Partners is a group of farmers who have come together to run a number of dairy farms in Scotland and Ireland.

The business model is a partnership approach where landowners become partners in grass-based farming and aim to grow as much grass as possible to turn into milk.

By combining resources, they have been able to make the farms more efficient and profitable, Scottish Land & Estates said.


The Helping it Happen Awards recognise the role of estates, farm business and individuals that are helping rural Scotland to thrive.

The awards ceremony will be held on October 5, 2023, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh, at which the overall winner of these three businesses will be named.

Commenting, Scottish Land & Estates’ chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing said: “We are delighted to receive a record-breaking number of nominations for this year’s awards and these stories of success from all over Scotland are inspirational.

“A number of categories have been being hotly contested and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate with our finalists and winners at the awards ceremony in October.”

NatureScot is the headline sponsor of the Helping it Happen Awards and its deputy director of Green Economy, Claudia Rowse, said it has been a privilege to review a “fantastic range of applications”.

“So many nominees are showcasing how to address the nature and climate crises alongside running profitable businesses that are forward looking and resilient,” she said.

Other awards will be presented for outstanding contribution to rural Scotland, contribution to the environment, tackling climate change, conservation, education, communities, rural business, tourism and property.