A Green Gift That Helps Scottish Conservation

In the mid 1980s, a small field in Oxfordshire became the unlikely focus of the national media. In response to the threat of a new stretch of motorway being built through the countryside, local folk together with the assistance of the environmental group Friends of the Earth purchased the field.

Ownership of the field did not reside with a company or one particular person, though. Rather, ownership was spread across 3500 individual supporters of the campaign, each of whom was able to protest against the compulsory purchase of their plot.
This strategy was only feasible because, at that time, HM Land Registry regulations made transactions of small souvenir plots exempt from registration. The law has since changed in England and Wales, making the sale of souvenir plots much more expensive and troublesome.

Not so in Scotland! Approximately 20 years later, some 400 miles North of Oxford, father and daughter Peter and Laura Bevis (a zoologist and accountant respectively but conservationists at heart), began work on a modest tree-planting project on family owned land in the Scottish Highlands.

Fairly soon, they realised that in order to carry out tree planting on a meaningful scale they would need more money. It was then that the decision was made to sell off souvenir plots of land on the internet, with the unique selling point that Scottish landowners could legitimately style themselves as Laird, Lord or Lady.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Laird simply means landowner. Being a Scottish word, Laird translates into English as Lord (although obviously not of the noble variety!)  Lady, of course, is the female variation.
The idea was a success, and after several years of successful trading more land was purchased. This came in the shape of some three hundred acres, roughly 5 miles from the historic village of Glencoe.

This land had been used previously for commercial forestry. As is the norm with commercial plantations, densely packed Sitka block out the sunlight from the forest floor. This is wretched circumstance for wildlife and plants, as well as being aesthetically unappealing.

In time, all of the commercial plantations will be replaced with native Scottish broadleaf trees for all to enjoy.  Until then, Highland Titles will continue to plant thousands of trees every year.  The jewel in the crown, if you will pardon the pun, is the 60-acre Diamond Jubilee Wood.  Planting of this wood started in 2012 to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, with the centre of the wood being planted with Royal Oak.

Anyone who buys a plot of land is also offered the chance to plant and dedicate a tree. With conservation being a real motivating factor for Highland Titles customers, the number of trees being planted is rising in line with awareness for the cause.

For a very novel green gift, visit the Highland Titles website and remember to join the thriving Highland Titles community on Facebook.

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