Lower Dess Estate, Dess, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

Land for sale Offers in Excess of£4,300,000

Photo Thomas Thore Photo Thomas Thore

Full description:

Lot 1 Lower Dess Fishings and Mill Cottage 58.4 acres
About 1.4 miles of left bank fishings averaging 92 salmon 34 sea trout
Mill cottage - rod room, function room, living room, kitchen and 2 bedrooms
Lot 2 Lower Dess House 1 acre
Reception hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, study, 3 bedrooms, bathroom
Lot 3 Upper Dess Fishings 44.6 acres
About 1mile of left bank fishings averaging 67 salmon and 44 sea trout. Spectacular fishing hut.
Lot 4 Warren Cottage 5 acres
Sitting room, dining room, kitchen, conservatory, 4 bedrooms, bathroom
Lot 5 Maryfield Farm 160 acres
Farmhouse, kitchen, sitting room, study, 5 bedrooms, bathroom, farm steading and about 158 acres of land.
Lot 6 Mill of Dess Farmhouse 20.9 acres
Dining kitchen, sitting room, utility, 4 bedrooms, bathroom, shower room, 3 paddocks
Lot 7 Mill of Dess Steading 25.3 acres
A traditional u shaped steading and adjacent fields
Lot 8 Trout pond and wood 105.8 acres
6 fields of mostly permanent pasture, some scattered trees and a stocked trout pond.
Lot 9 Sawmill/Hatchery 4.2 acres
A 3 storey stone building
Lot 10 Burn Cottage 3.4 acres
Kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bathroom
About 428 acres (173ha)
For sale as a whole or in 10 Lots
Strictly by appointment with
Strutt & Parker 01330 826800 or
Peterkins 01224 428252
The Lower Dess Estate has all the attributes that any discerning purchaser will seek: location, privacy, outlook and cachet. When these are combined with some exciting salmon fishings, areas of young and mature woodland, refurbished cottages and a farm, these make the property very special and desirable.
The Estate lies on the north side of the Dee valley with uninterrupted views over the valley to the Forest of Birse.
The property is situated within easy reach of Aberdeen in a very private and secluded position, whilst enjoying a totally unspoilt rural setting. The Estate is a wonderful place in which to live, surrounded by wildlife and native woodland.
There are 6 houses on the Estate, 3 of which have been recently refurbished, 4 of the houses have been let out, whilst the others are kept for the use of fishermen.
There is a regular clientele of fishermen who enjoy the river and local hospitality.
The Estate is situated 27 miles west of Aberdeen in the heart of Royal Deeside in a very private location on the banks of the River Dee.
Royal Deeside combines magnificent scenery with a wide variety of sporting, cultural and leisure facilities. For the sportsman the area could not be finer with shooting, fishing, stalking, golf, gliding and ski-ing all available in the locality. The area is well known for the quality of life, with beautiful forests, open moorland, traditional farming and clean air.
The local village of Kincardine O' Neil, the oldest village on Deeside, has a garage, village shop, small hotel and primary school. Further shopping and educational facilities are available in Aboyne and Banchory situated five and nine miles away respectively.
Aberdeen, the 'Oil Capital', has a wide range of quality shops and amenities befitting a capital city. Aberdeen has an airport with an ever increasing range of domestic and European flights, whilst the railway station offers inter-city and sleeper services to London.
Natural Heritage
As well as all the usual riverine and garden birds, the property boasts a bird list of over 76 species, with a further 13 species regularly crossing in flight. These include osprey, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, hen harrier and whooper swans. The woods, wet flushes and rough pasture include woodcock, snipe, lapwing, curlew, common sandpiper, mallard, wigeon and teal, wryneck, spotted and pied flycatcher, siskin, redstart, blackcap, garden warbler, wood warbler, great spotted woodpecker, buzzard and sparrow hawk, yellow hammer, skylark and linnet.
Roe deer and red squirrels are resident in the pine and birch woods and otters frequent the riverbank. Both pine marten and wildcat have been recorded in the past.
To the naturalist and wildlife enthusiast, the whole Estate offers a remarkable spectrum of biodiversity.
The sportings on the Estate have not been let; a small shoot has been run for a number of years. There are a few release pens and some sporting birds can be presented over the valley. Four days shooting in the season are possible with 8 driven drives producing circa 100 birds
There is a significant population of roe deer on the Estate, and the occasional marauding red deer.
The River Dee
The River Dee enjoys international fame as one of the four largest rivers in Scotland, with a reputation for providing in the past some of the finest spring fishing in the UK. It is an attractive river, rising in the Cairngorms and draining an area of over 2,000 square kilometres before entering the North Sea at Aberdeen, having travelled a course of over 90 miles.
The River Dee Board has been active in removing all of the nets from around the estuary and for much of the east coast of Scotland, including a contribution to the buyout of the Northumbrian drift nets.
Since 1999 there has been a catch and release policy on the river, with over 90% of caught fish being released; one of the best observed policies in Scotland.
There has also been, and continues to be, very extensive habitat improvement works throughout the river. All of these works are resulting in greatly improved catch returns and much of the river is fished on a fly only basis and this is 100% observed on this beat.
The conservation measures being promoted by the Dee Board give great hope for the future health of the river and for the continued improvement of catches throughout the river system. Any improvement in the catches has an immediate effect on the capital value. The total rod catch in 2010 was 9,289 (including October); the second best return in 44 years.
The season opens on 1st February and closes on 30th September. Historically the Dee us renowned for its spring fishing but the Dee's summer salmon and grilse are the most abundant of the river's fish stocks, with plentiful runs of sea trout from May. The autumn run starts in August, providing excellent and productive fishing throughout the river for all stock components.
It has recently been confirmed that the 2-week extension into October is to continue. In the last 2 years this has produced an average of 21.4 extra salmon and there is a good prospect of this becoming permanent.
Lot 1
Lower Dess Fishings and Mill Cottage
58.4 acres (23.6 ha)
This is an exceptional stretch of attractive left bank fishings on the River Dee, on what is classified as the middle river. The beat is about 1¼ miles (2km) long and includes 10 pools with a lovely woodland backdrop.
The beat is fishable at all heights and most of the pools can be covered without wading. It is a 2/3 rod beat.
The river banks have been well maintained and there are a number of gabions and croys which have been carefully sited to improve the fishing.
There are attractive fishing huts on the beat.
The Fishings have been let for most of the season; mainly to long-established tenants. Most of the fishing is from the bank.
The average catch for 10 years is 88 salmon and 33.9 sea trout, whilst the 5 year average demonstrates how the Dee is improving with 96 salmon and 34.8 sea trout recorded. The October 3 year average is 9.8 salmon, which has the potential if adopted permanently to considerably enhance the value.
Included as part of Lot 1 is the Mill House which sits adjacent to the river. Built of stone under a slate roof, this charming house provides spectacular views down the river. The old mill wheel is a feature.
On the first floor is a refurbished cottage with 2 double bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a sitting room with a southerly window looking upstream and a bay window with fine views over the river.
The ground floor includes a large rod room and a lunch room which is ideal for parties; there is a WC/utility area.
Adjacent to the cottage is a large garage with space for 2 cars and a large tarred parking area for guests.
Lot 2
Lower Dess House
1.0 acre (0.4 ha)
A substantial country house with a commanding southerly outlook up the Dee valley over the Lower Dess Fishings.
Formerly the principal house on the Estate it is approached from the A93 down the tarred main drive, to a turning area by the double garage.
The house is built of harled stone under a slate roof. The front door is approached along a paved path and the entrance vestibule leads into a large central reception hall, with doors off to the drawing room with open fire and bay window, with window seats to enjoy the views up and down the river. The hall also leads to the dining room. There are also stairs to the first floor and a cloakroom. From the dining room a door leads to the kitchen and a further door to the study. The functional kitchen is at the back of the house, with Hygena units and a passage from the kitchen to the back door has doors off to a utility room, larder, cloakroom and store.
On the first floor are three large bedrooms. The principal room has an ensuite bathroom, whilst there is also a cloakroom and linen cupboard.
The house is screened from the A93 by a mature beech hedge and there is a sheltered area of lawn included to the west of the house.
The house is currently let on a short assured tenancy at a rent of £10,800 pa. Notice to quit has been served.
Lot 3
Upper Dess Fishings
44.6 acres (18.05 ha)
Located immediately upstream of Lot 2, the Upper Dess Fishings are also on the left bank and are about 1 mile (1.7 km) long and include 8 named pools.
The beat is fished by 2 rods throughout the season, in a very pretty, secluded part of the river. The 10 year average is 61.7 salmon and 40 sea trout. The 5 year average is 72.8 salmon and 49 sea trout which highlights how it is improving. The October 3 year average is 11.6.
There is a magnificent, award winning fishing hut in the centre of the beat, which was built in 1998. The hut is built on a granite plinth under a slate roof. It is 6.4m x 5.0m and is pine lined with a feature fireplace, an area of decking, a kitchenette and a cloakroom. It has lovely views over this secluded part of the river.
Most fishermen have tended to stay at Warren Cottage (Lot 4) which is on the approach to these fishings.
With fishing in low, medium and high waters the beat is divided into 8 pools.
A feature of this part of the river is how dynamic the movement of the river is. At present the seller fishes from the left bank into the main stream. Occasionally the opposite bank proprietors come onto Lot 3 to fish the left bank of the river, March and McKidd pools; this is on a voluntary basis (Between Y & Z on the plan).
Lot 4
Warren Cottage
5.0 acres (2.0 ha)
A secluded extended cottage with paddock in the heart of the Lower Dess Estate.
Warren Cottage is mostly built of granite under a slate roof and has been extended to the rear in a traditional style and to the south with a conservatory.
The cottage sits in a woodland glade and provides comfortable accommodation on 2 floors. There is a sitting room with wood stove and dual aspect and an adjacent dining room with a link through to the east facing kitchen. The conservatory has been divided into a sitting area and 2 single bedrooms whilst the first floor has 2 double bedrooms.
The cottage is furnished and well appointed and has the potential to be extended into the principal Estate house, or it could compliment and act as a base for fishermen on either Lot 1 or 3, it is currently let on a weekly basis with the Upper Dess Fishings.
Beside the cottage is a timber frame stable building:
Stable 3.57m x 3.46m
Tack room 3.57m x 1.91m
Lot 5
Maryfield Farm
160 acres (64.7 ha)
Maryfield is the base for the farming operation on the Estate and the main steading is conveniently in the middle of the farm.
The farm has been managed on a traditional system, with suckler cows and some cereal crops being grown for livestock feed.
The land comprises gently rolling fields with attractive field margins of mixed broadleaves and conifers. There are a number of areas of rough grazing and the farm is in a Less Favoured Area designated as Severely Disadvantaged, thus eligible for the higher levels of Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances. The land lies between 360 feet and 450 feet above sea level.
The farm extends to about 160 acres in total. There are 49 acres of ploughable land, about 39 acres of permanent pasture, and 69 acres of open birch woodland and rough grazing.
All fields are watered either naturally or from troughs.
Maryfield Farmhouse
The farmhouse is adjacent to the farm buildings. It is built of stone under a slate roof, and has a westerly outlook.
The spacious accommodation is on two floors. The house can be entered from either the east or west aspects. There is a large central kitchen with doors to a study and a passage which leads to the utility room and bedroom 5. There is a sitting room in the south west corner. On the first floor are 4 similar sized bedrooms and a family bathroom.
To the east of the house is a courtyard which could be developed into a sheltered garden and access to a storage shed, 3.36m x 3.0m.
The house is currently let on a short assured tenancy at a rent of £4920 per annum. A notice to quit has been served.
The farm buildings at Maryfield comprise a range of traditional stone buildings, which may have potential for a residential conversion. There are also 3 more modern buildings with concrete portal frames and corrugated roof sheets.
Atcost cattle court 1 45' x 40

River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

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