Farming pioneer leaves over £1.7 million in will



A POPULAR Scots farmer who helped set up the Countryside Commission for Scotland has left over £1.7 million in his will.

Alistair Campbell OBE passed away in June last year and his recently published estate has revealed the true extent of the Perthshire farmer’s wealth.

Included in his legacy is the family home, Grainston Farm, and the accompanying 340 acres of land which has been valued at £1.47 million.

His portfolio contained substantial holdings in companies such as BAE Systems, Cadbury PLC and HBOS.

The large estate is to be divided up equally between Mr Campbell’s three children and his grandchildren.

Mr Campbell was born in 1927, the youngest son of Sir John Campbell, 7th Baronet of Aberuchill and Kilbryde.

Destined for agriculture

Both his father and his older brother Colin opted for a career in the military, but Alistair was always said to be destined for a future in agriculture.

He attended Tonbridge School, Kent, and while at the top school he achieved the distinction of ploughing the school’s fields with a team of Suffolk Punches so that the school could grow their vegetables during the wartime rationing.

In 1944, he went to live and learn his farming at Ottinge Court Farm, Kent, where he stayed for three years before moving to Scotland to farm the 500 acres which made up part of his father’s large estate at Kilbryde, near Dunblane.

He married wife Rosemary Puller in 1952, and the devoted couple had three children Christopher, Caroline and Colina during their happy marriage.

Rosemary’s family originally came from Perth, and were the founders of the successful textile dying and dry cleaning firm Pullars of Perth.

Mr Campbell spent the early years of his marriage establishing his farm at Kilbryde and he dedicated himself to the development of his successful dairy and livestock business.

He then began to take an interest in the wider issues affecting the rural community, most notably through the Scottish NFU where he spent six years as the convener of the organisation’s legal and commercial committee.

Mr Campbell then became involved in a working party which led to the establishment in 1967 of the Countryside Commission for Scotland, which, at that time, was innovative in raising public awareness of conservation and farming.

Awarded OBE

He was a pioneer member during the early development years of the commission in Scotland, and as vice-chairman was influential in developing its role in land management for public enjoyment, access, and recreation, and education.

And in 1976, aged 49, his contribution to farming and rural affairs was recognised with the award of an OBE.

Throughout his life Mr Campbell worked for a succession of respected conservation bodies including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, the Scottish Conservation Projects Trust and the Action Environment Limited.

His wide-ranging experience in agriculture and rural affairs, was further recognised in 1981, when he was invited by the then secretary of state for Scotland, George Younger, to become one of the three lay members of the Scottish Land Court, a legal body charged with adjudicating over disputes between landlords and tenants, in agriculture and crofting.

Over the following decade, the position took him all over Scotland where he used his negotiating and arbitrating skills to settle disputes between landlords and tenants.

Following his statutory retirement at 65 in June 1992, he continued to work as an independent agriculture consultant.

In this role he provided practical advice and valuation services to farmers and landowners and worked as a consultant to Scottish Power, whilst still continuing to farm at Kilbryde.

He lost his wife Rosemary in 1995, and continued his long-standing voluntary work at the Strathcarron Hospice well into his 70s.

Mr Campbell was also an active member of St Mary’s Church and supporter of St Mary’s School, Dunblane, until his full and active life was curtailed by the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

Alistair Bromley Campbell OBE, who passed away on June 24 2008, is survived by his son and two daughters.