‘MIGHTY oaks from tiny acorns grow’… it’s a familiar proverb but one that perfectly illustrates the importance small and seemingly insignificant actions can have in the race to save our planet.

Better still, we can make a difference merely by changing some of our lifestyle habits – cut consumption and waste, leave the car at home more often, respect and protect green spaces, and invest in ways to reduce energy use and bills.

In exchange, our homes – be they modern, traditional or a unique conversion from old to new – will be less cluttered, better insulated, and more enjoyable to live in. By bringing the message home everyone benefits, including the planet.

Newly on the market, each of the properties highlighted here is contributing in some small way to a sustainable future. By Beverley Brown.



OPPORTUNITIES to live by water are commonplace, but for those who would prefer to be ON the water, Laika is a picturesque chance-in-a-lifetime. Build on the River Clyde circa 2011 and in full working order, this 65ft long x 15ft wide wide-beam Dutch barge is currently moored in the upper basin at Bowling Harbour where the Forth and Clyde canal meets the Clyde – a setting that provides privacy and beautiful views over the canal and downstream to the Erskine Bridge.


Internally, Laika is a well equipped and comfortable home, its layout providing a large open-plan wheelhouse/living room, newly fitted kitchen and dining area with wood-burning stove (the kitchen includes a dishwasher and washing machine), double-size principal cabin/bedroom with fitted storage, single cabin/bedroom, and bathroom with over-bath shower.


The barge also has superb outside space, including a rear seating area, central heating, generator, inverter, bow thruster and DAF engine – well maintained and capable of sailing anywhere in the UK and beyond. Alternatively, the mooring is currently leased from Scottish Canals at £213 per month.


This is a cash-only purchase for sale with Clyde Property in Helensburgh at offers over £165,000.



LOCATED within the sought-after Marchmont area of Edinburgh, a converted B-listed Victorian school is now home to, amongst others, an impressive four-bedroomed ground floor duplex spanning around 1,700 sq ft.


Size and scale are this home’s most dramatic features, further accentuated by a crisp white colour palette contrasted by light-coloured wood flooring and internal glazing.

 The accommodation comprises entrance hall leading to two double bedrooms, shower room, contemporary fully fitted/integrated kitchen…and a few steps up, a dazzlingly bright, 27ft living/dining room with huge lancet windows on three sides.


A flight of open-plan stairs in the hall lead up to a glass-fronted mezzanine gallery presently used as a study/library, main bathroom and two further double bedrooms. The blonde sandstone property also benefits from residents’ permit parking, communal bike store, and a central setting in Marchmont within easy walking distance of local amenities, the Meadows, Bruntsfield Links and the city centre.


Details from Simpson & Marwick’s Edinburgh office, which invites offers over £575,000.



SUSTAINABILITY is the by-word for The Park eco village in the picturesque village of Findhorn on the Moray Firth, where Rainbow Lodge offers a rare opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded people in glorious surroundings within walking distance of the village and outstanding beaches.


Situated in the centre of the Field of Dreams, this is a substantial three-storey eco house configured to give adaptable accommodation for a multi-generation family, or home with income – ideally suited to Bed and Breakfast or holiday lets with owner’s accommodation – or for a therapist requiring treatment rooms.

 The possibilities with this property are endless. On the ground floor it currently has two self-contained studio apartments, laundry, drying room, cloakroom and therapy room; upstairs are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, fitted kitchen and large living/dining room, while the top level houses a kitchen, bathroom and sizeable open-plan living/dining/bedroom (presently owner’s accommodation).


There are covered porches, a sun porch with outdoor space for sitting out/private entrance, the local shop stocks a wide range of organic produce, the flat terrain is ideal for walking/cycling, while a wider range of shops and other amenities is available in the nearby town of Forres. Offers over £440,000 (£20,000 below Home Report valuation) are invited by R&R Urquhart Property in Forres.



A HOME like no other, the detached C-listed Station Master’s House in South Lanarkshire’s Royal Burgh of Sanquhar, South Lanarkshire, will appeal to railway boffins and period property aficionados alike. Dating back to the mid 19th-Century, the former station master’s house has been painstakingly restored from the roof down with original architectural features and railway memorabilia (the latter may be available by negotiation).


Best of all, the station itself is still in active use, with a journey time of 27 minutes to Dumfries, one hour 20 minutes to Glasgow Central and 5 hours to London. Internally, the accommodation spans 1800 sq ft over one level to include and entrance porch and L-shaped reception hall, three double bedrooms, large family bathroom with separate shower, 21ft bay-windowed living room, adjoining formal dining room with stone flagged floor, bespoke fitted kitchen with granite worktops and central island/breakfast bar, and shower room linked to a laundry with access to an outside patio.


Offers Over £300,000 are invited by Fine and Country.



SET in 25 acres which includes a south-facing courtyard, secluded landscaped grounds, woodland, grazing, and a lake complete with island and summerhouse, Braecock Mill is an idyllic steading conversion in Perthshire bordering the River Tay, which is owned to the mid-point, with the right to fish for brown trout.


A home of immense character and charm, the two-storey L-shaped layout takes full advantage of the original horse mill – now a 26ft diameter circular sitting room with a wood-burning stove and exposed stone fireplace wall – and steading, the latter accommodating a rather grand 30ft partially wood-panelled dining hall with doors into a south-facing inner courtyard, fitted breakfasting kitchen with Aga and space for dining furniture, utility, shower room, two ground floor bedrooms and bathroom, while the first floor landing houses a large study area with access to a west-facing balcony, and three further double bedrooms – two with en suite shower room, while the main bedroom also has a dressing area with extensive fitted storage.


Braecock Mill is a lifestyle property offering immense potential for those with equestrian, fishing, conservation, wildlife or smallholding interests – and although it enjoys a scenic setting, the Mill is just 12 miles from Perth. Offers over £725,000 are invited by Galbraith’s Perth office.