Managing a Borders Rural Estate

Sir Michael Strang Steel

Philiphaugh, Selkirkshire

Tuesday, 8th January 2018
Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

The speaker writes:

I intend to trace the history of the Estate from Roman times through the 400 years of the Murray family’s ownership to 1888, when the land was sold to William Strang Steel, founder of Steel Brothers, who traded in rice and teak in Burma. I will cover the civil war battle of Philiphaugh 1645, which I will describe in some detail.

Turning to the present, I will explain the workings of the hydro station, powered by two Archimedes Screw turbines on the Ettrick Water, the foray into nature based tourism using underwater cameras, giving live footage to a Visitor Centre to view salmon and other river creatures below the cauld, the construction of a café from Scots Pine timber and the restoration of the walled garden.

Sir Michael Strang Steel was born at Philiphaugh in 1943. He served 18 years in the Army before taking a course in Agriculture at the Edinburgh College of Agriculture. Returning to farm Philiphaugh Farm in 1980, he took over the running of the Estate in 1992. He served as a Forestry Commissioner, 1988-1999, and also on the Deer Commission for Scotland. He is currently President of the British Deer Society.