Gleneagles Townhouse
Ferret Instructor

Meet the Expert: Alex Lowe

22 February 2024

Our resident ferret expert shares his passion for the lesser-known stars of Gleneagles’ Gundogs & Falconry Training School.

Set amid stunning Scottish landscapes, it’s little wonder that Gleneagles is nicknamed the Glorious Playground. With pursuits ranging from shooting and fishing to hiking, the estate draws thousands each year to embrace the great outdoors in various forms. Among the many life-affirming experiences on offer, a major draw for guests is the opportunity to engage with the eagles, hawks and hounds at the Gundogs & Falconry Training School. Yet fewer people may be aware of our Ferret School – the first of its kind at a hotel – where visitors can learn how to hold, handle and walk a ferret under supervision. It’s also here that Alex Lowe, ferret instructor at the school, is able to share his passion for these highly intelligent hunters on a daily basis.

While records show that ferrets were first domesticated about 2,500 years ago, it was the Romans who first introduced them to the UK. Centuries later, the Normans popularised putting them to work at what they do best – hunting rabbits and rodents. Their slender physiques and natural curiosity makes them adept at flushing both out of holes and burrows – giving rise to the phrase ”ferret out”. In the years since they’ve proved an enduring fixture within British society, both as provider of rabbits for the table and – more recently – as pets.

Lowe’s love of animals and working outdoors stems from his early years growing up on the Ulusaba game reserve, close to Kruger National Park in South Africa, where his father was a ranger. “As you can imagine, there were plenty of animals of all shapes and sizes to spot on a daily basis and my interest in these animals was fuelled further by the work my father did,” he says. However, since swapping the game reserves of South Africa for the glens of Scotland, Alex has followed in his father’s footsteps and joined Gleneagles’ newly established Gundog School. “I began my Gleneagles journey by helping my father with the gundogs before school, before deciding that this was the place for me to start my life in employment. I began by instructing the young ones in our junior off-road vehicles and quickly became more and more fond of the animals I was surrounded by.”

However, one animal in particular drew Lowe’s attention. “My passion was always the ferrets and, while I was trained up in their handling, I researched these social and curious animals and became known by my peers as the ‘Ferret King’,” he says. “I would always ask my colleagues if I could take their ferret lessons as it’s my favourite part of my day.”





At the Ferret School, children aged four and up can take a 45-minute lesson where they learn how to handle and hold a ferret correctly and how to walk it on a harness lead. Newly acquired skills are then put to the test, with the ferrets – fitted with tracking collars – embarking on a simulated hunt in an artificial burrow, built to resemble their natural hunting habitat. “Guests love seeing the ferrets racing one another in our maze of tunnels, tracking them underground, walking them on a lead and – of course – getting a cuddle,” says Lowe, adding that what he loves most about his job is learning from a great team of colleagues as well as meeting and finding about guests from all over the world. “And, just in case you wanted to learn at least one interesting fact about ferrets, here you go,” he says. “They can have up to 17 babies, called kits, per litter – with only a six-week gestation!”

To meet our family of ferrets first-hand, speak to our Playground Planners on 01764 662231 or via email at

Enquire Now