We were impressed by the tranquil beauty of the Aigas property, a carefully restored Victorian estate and gardens. On our arrival, we received a warm greeting by the owners, Sir John and Lady Lucinda Lister-Kaye and their professional team of highly trained, good-humoured rangers. The delicious, plentiful meals and afternoon tea in the Great Hall of their mansion were wonderful; however, what we most appreciated was their commitment to enhance our knowledge of conservation, environmental issues, and the native wildlife and flora. The day trips afforded us a marvellous opportunity to learn about the geology and history of the Highlands. These were enhanced by evening lectures by Sir John and his team; visits to the blinds to see the badgers, re-introduced European beavers, and rare Scottish wildcats. We also enjoyed Sir John's historical house tour, the traditional music, and a magical evening of story telling. Perhaps our best day was spent with Sir John's son, Warwick, who normally devotes his time to managing Aigas. His knowledge of the local wildflowers, birds, and mammals in the nearby lochs and hills was astonishing: we watched golden eagles circling above the mountain summits; we saw the silhouettes of, native red deer stags on the hilltops, and watched peregrine falcon juveniles try their wings by targeting a fleeing kestral. We particularly appreciated the Aigas team's passion and commitment to environmental education, as well as their sensitivity and concern for people and this vulnerable planet. I admire their ethics, generosity and kindness toward their guests. We intend to return to this top calibre facility, which exceeded all of our expectations.
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