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Dr Peter and Laura Bevis, a biologist and accountant respectively, conceived the idea in 2005, from their family Estate in the Scottish Highlands. After creating 12 new woods on family owned land in Glen Spean, they realised that to really make a difference, they needed to buy land which had the potential to be restored and conserved, or which was at risk from development. So in 2007 they purchased the Keil Estate in Appin, which is now operated by local volunteers as the Highland Titles Nature Reserve. The organisation has grown from there and we now have thousands of supporters and land owners around the world. In 2013 we have helped create the Highland Titles Charitable Trust for Scotland, which will take on the responsibility for managing this and any future Nature Reserves.
Highland Titles are committed to Scottish conservation. In this respect we are not unique. Our unique selling point is that we invite our sponsors to share the thrill of landownership by purchasing a souvenir plot of our land. Now isn’t that more fun than just receiving a membership card?
100% of the profits that we we raise from the sale of souvenir plots to our supporters around the world is applied to protecting and conserving the land we manage, such as our Nature Reserve based in Appin.
Our objectives are to protect ancient and semi-natural woodlands and open-ground habitats, to upgrade non-native conifer plantations to new native broadleaf plantings and to protect these conserved lands from ever being developed. We viewed numerous woodlands and rejected all of them, before we came across the estate that we own now and are actively seeking the right estate to become the next project. Keil Hill is in a magnificent location, with stunning views across Loch Linnhe; with easy access from the main Oban to Fort William road and less than a mile from the busy Duror village. We think it is perfect and were afraid one day a developer just might have thought so too!
However the estate’s accessibility does mean that you can visit your plot with no difficulty. You can park and walk down the signed footpath along the Salachan Burn (with its salmon and trout – fishing is not permitted) into Glencoe Wood an ecologically rich ancient oak and birch wood. This type of wood may be home to a wide range of mammals; badger, pine marten, red deer, roe deer, bank vole, wood mouse, stoat, fox, hedgehog and an equally wide variety of birds. Whilst the crossbill has never been seen in Glencoe Wood, it has been seen close by and perhaps we can one day tempt it into Glen Salachan. Our policy of placing Bat Boxes on the land has increased the variety of bats found on the Estate, with Common and Soprano Pipistrelles, the Brown Long-eared Bat and Daubenton’s Bat all being recorded in recent years. A single sighting of a Nathusius’s Pipistrelle in 2011 has also been very encouraging. Other animals and plants are also present in profusion.
Of more practical benefit to the visitor or landowner, there are also many flat grassy clearings which people use to camp on, or to picnic on and the Salachan Burn and Loch Linnhe are great attractions.
The next stage was mapping the plots. James, a chartered surveyor from Mull spent several days walking the wood with his GPS equipment and mapping devices. All of his references and maps are used to create your personalised, legal documentation. When you receive the pack you will see that you have the exact, precise grid reference for your unique plot.
Graphic design and printing was undertaken in Fort William, Lochaber, maps designed by Oxox Design in Ballachulish, Glencoe and the legal paperwork inside was drawn up for us by our Scottish solicitor. Many of the photographs on this website and on our Facebook page have been taken by Jacky Cooper Photography, Ballachulish, Glencoe, or other local photographers.
We have licensed paperwork from Deed Poll Services which you can use for changing your title. The Master Title Deed is essentially a document useful in England and Wales, but we have found that it is also recognised by many other jurisdictions worldwide.
Highland Titles® Limited is a limited company registered in Alderney, No. 1599