Famous Scottish architect William Adam not only invested in coal mining but he also introduced trees to his estate. His motives were not solely commercial. He wanted to improve the look of his new estate, a purpose taken up by both his son and grandson.

He faced a bleak scene on buying the estate in 1733:

"All, except the 20 or 30 Acres of the infield were a wild uncultivated Moor......with the exception of the two small pieces of infield, there was not a vestige of culture, nor a tree, except one accidental Ash Tree....." written by his grandson, William Adam (1834).

His son John Adam (1721-1792) moved away from the formal layout of his father's rectangular tree plantations. He planted a mixture of trees on ground unfit for other purposes, for example rocky hills. This gave the estate a more natural appearance.

John's son, The Right Honourable William Adam (1751-1839), continued the work in the early 19th century.  He was good friends with Sir Walter Scott, who had similar ideas about designing the landscape of an estate to combine "usefulness and profit with enjoyment and ornament".

Read about mining at Blairadam.


Local poet Jim Douglas tells a local tale.