The Hew Hamilton Bursary Fund
Following the death of Hew Hamilton on 27th April 2021, Levenseat Ltd, Levenseat Trust and members of his family set up the Hew Hamilton Bursary to support students engaging in Environmental or Agricultural studies at a college or university.
Hew the Man
Hew Hamilton was born, lived all his life and on 11th May was buried on the rugged hill at Crosswoodhill farm. A Farmer through and through Hew embraced John F Kennedy’s dictum: “Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future” and seized opportunities, taking on challenge after challenge with the farm diversifications he created.
In the early 1980s Hew’s first diversification on Crosswoodhill involved capitalising on the plentiful resource of peat on the farm by setting up Pentland Peat, which was sold as fuel and then further refined for use in barbecues throughout the UK. This was before current climate concerns were raised. Hew’s next foray was into Christmas trees. By then Hew and his cousin Peter McLaren had inherited from their uncle a second farm at Handaxwood near Breich. The trees sold well, but the enterprise became uninsurable when local lads repeatedly found it fun to torch the plantation and watch the fire brigade extinguishing their handiwork.
Undeterred, as ever, Hew saw beyond just channelling his energies into livestock farming and his next venture on Handaxwood land started out as a goal to infill old quarry voids with waste and revert a scarred landscape into productive agricultural grazing land. Initially a low-key venture with one man and a machine, thanks to collective business acumen and vision, Levenseat Resource Management now employs hundreds of people, and are pioneers in the field of Waste Management, often being the first to deploy new technology, leading the way and creating a more sustainable Scotland.
Throughout these diversifications, his first, and abiding love, was farming. After boarding at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, Hew studied agriculture at Edinburgh University and farm management at Writtle College in Essex. From the beginning, he always looked to promote hill farming and improve agricultural systems, whether this was through improving the land to make it more productive or selective breeding in his Blackface sheep. Recognising the truism of “strength through co-operation,” Hew astutely promoted the selling of his lambs through the local Lothian Lamb co-operative and was its chairman in the 1990s.
Many remember Hew not just for his farming activities but also for his generosity in sharing his knowledge and techniques with others. Crosswoodhill’s Visitors’ Book is peppered with signatures from the many visiting local colleges and organisations from as far away as Scandinavia and Georgia. The Minister for Agriculture and entourage from the latter country returned home to Tbilisi impressed with the innovation they had witnessed at Crosswoodhill.
On Valentine’s Day 2020, Hew was diagnosed with advanced, non-operable pancreatic cancer. The last 14 months of his life he spent fighting the cancer with chemotherapy while shielding at home, embracing technology to help keep track of every move on the farm and at Levenseat. Killer Sudokos in The Scotsman kept his intellect razor sharp to the end.
Hew took great pleasure in watching Caroline’s son, Magnus, grow beside him during Covid isolation and was there to cheer on his first steps. Just ten days before he died, he was able to be a witness at his daughter’s wedding on their lawn, having seen his son married in November 2019. He died at home with all his family around him.
For years Hew and his wife Geraldine, shared their home with live-in students completing their practical year at Crosswoodhill. Thus, Hew helped shape many a farming career and a bursary to help students in need, is the ideal tribute to our Hew, founding father, mentor and kind hearted soul.
About the Levenseat Trust
Hew was a Co Founder of Levenseat Trust which was established in 1997 in order to take advantage of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. The Trust is a registered charity, dispersing Scottish Landfill Community Fund (SLCF) funds, which is governed by the Scottish Government and regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on their behalf. The Trust undertakes and supports projects aimed at improving the environment for the benefit of all.
Levenseat Ltd has been a key player in the Scottish Resource Management Sector for over 35 years. The company is an industry leader in converting wastes into resources, leading the way to a more sustainable and low carbon Scotland. It has a track record in innovation and delivering solutions for customers, including:
- Enabling local authority customers to meet their obligations under the Household Recycling Charter
- Innovative solutions for manufacturing products from comingled food and garden waste, including compost and feedstocks that produce renewable power.
- Producing renewable power and heat from black bag waste.
Criteria for applications to the Hew Hamilton bursary fund
- Candidates must reside in or have close connections to one of the following areas:- Addiewell, Auchengray, Braehead, Breich, Fauldhouse, Forth, Longridge, Stoneyburn, Tarbrax or Woolfords.
- Applicants should be enrolling/enrolled in either an Agriculture or Environmental course at a College or University or be undertaking overseas travel or overseas placement in connection with their chosen course subject.
- The Trust has a budget of £2,000 per annum and this has the flexibility to be split amongst several applicants or awarded to a single applicant. The Trust will consider applications for bursaries for either one off expenditure or for ongoing annual support for the duration of your studies.
- Payment by the Trust is dependent on receipts by the Trust of sums from Levenseat Limited.
- Successful candidates must show evidence of expenditure on request.
- Any funds awarded will be paid by cheque.
- Completed forms should be returned to Levenseat Trust at email@example.com or forwarded to the address below:-
For the attention of Catherine McGurk
How to Apply:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request an application form.