A short history of the farm
Portnellan Farm originally belonged to Ross Estates. Donald MacLean bought it from Ross Estates in the early 1900s: Donald was a stockman on another farm near Stirling and when he left to take over Portnellan, he was gifted the dairy herd and he walked the cows all the way over to their new home on Portnellan. David’s Grandfather, Stanley Scott-Park, who was a radiologist in Glasgow, bought the farm in 1952 for his son Jock Scott-Park to manage.
Originally the farm would have been a traditional mixed farm with a combination of cattle, sheep, pigs, hens and even a few cereals but in the early 70’s Jock decided to specialise in dairy farming. In 1981 David came back to work on the farm along side Jock and the dairy man. Jock in particular had always been interested in food and its impact on human health and in 1991 they decided to begin converting the farm to become certified organic which they achieved in 2001.
In 2010 the consistently low milk price and cost of production meant that dairy farming was no longer sustainable and the decision was made to begin conversion to organic beef farming. This transition freed up a lot of time to concentrate on other projects and with the help of their son Chris, who returned to Portnellan in 2014, David and Freda set about renovating the Old Farmhouse and converting it into self-catering accommodation. They also started a small glamping business making use of the Old Byre which had stood empty since the dairy stopped and renovated the old jetty to service the moorings in the bay.
Along side working on the farm, Chris started his own business running speedboat tours and water-sports hire from Portnellan all of which has become steadily more popular over the last few years. More recently the Scott-Parks have added farm tours to the list of activities on offer as people become more interested in sustainability and food production.