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The Gathering | 2016 | A Summary

Written by: Dr. Peter Bevis
Published: 13th May 2016, last updated: 27th January 2020

The 2016 Highland Titles Gathering has now come to an end and we have to say this was the best one yet. We are hard pressed to remember a time when we’ve had such stunning weather and it wasn’t until Stephen officially declared the event closed that the first few raindrops fell! With temperatures in the low to mid 20s, it’s safe to say that there are a few people that may have been slightly ill-prepared in their packing (woolly sweaters and wellies, anyone?)

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It was three days of meeting and mixing in the sunshine with many interesting and informative talks throughout. Day one kicked off at 1pm with a champagne welcome and the first presentation from writer and conservationist Dr. Mark Avery followed by Alan Watson Featherstone, founder of Trees for Life UK. Mark shared his passion for the banning of driven red grouse shooting in the UK which Peter wrote about in an earlier post (including the petition you can sign to join the cause) while Alan took us through a very factually interesting journey through his work repopulating the Caledonian Forest, which now only covers approximately 3% of the area it once did.
After the talks we broke for a few hours while people prepared for dinner and got the most out of the remaining hours of sunshine. Just before dinner started, the local Lochaber Pipe Band (proudly sponsored by Highland Titles) came by to entertain our guests with a few traditional tunes.

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The formal 4 course dinner included a choice of starters: venison or asparagus and brie roulade, regular or vegetarian haggis, mains of angus beef fillet or field mushroom risotto, and a delicious rhubard and custard tart to finish. Dinnertime entertainment was provided by sleight-of-hand magician Billy Reid and a local harpist.

4 course meal

Formal dinner by Isles of Glencoe Hotel

The second day was a bit more action packed, starting off in the morning with a hearty breakfast at the hotel followed by two presentations. The first, from Wildcat Haven founder, Paul O’Donoghue, was full of heartstring pullingly cute photos of the “Scottish Tigers” and convinced quite a few of our Lords and Ladies to get involved before he had even finished.  The second and final presentation of the day, an eye-opening chat from Warren Bader of Plan Bee Ltd, really hit home with our attendees as he shared the vital importance and plight of bees worldwide and what we can do to help, even at home. Both were incredibly interesting and we are proud to support both causes in their conservation efforts.

Post presentations, it was time for a BBQ lunch on the front lawn before loading up on the coaches and heading out to the reserve! This is, for most, the highlight of the event and it did not disappoint! While some attendees chose to wander through on their own, many opted for the led tours by Stewart, David, John and Ann, our volunteer French guide for the day. Some ventured out to find their plots using the Highland Titles “App“, and many came back the next day to have another wander about. It was so great to share with the attendees the progress we’ve made and our plans for the future.

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Upon returning to the hotel, guests were treated to a whisky tasting and presentation on the Massacre of Glencoe, the region’s most infamous historical tale. With a warm belly of whisky down, it was an evening of socialising and dinner and many Lairds retired early after a day of fresh air and exploration.

The final day began at 10am with a fantastic display of Scotland’s Birds of Prey from Phoenix Falconry followed by two hours of activities in the sunshine! Guests had the choice of a zip around Loch Leven on RIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats), zooming around on segways or trying their hand at laser clay shooting.  Many guests managed to fit in all three.

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Most chose, as well, to soak up the remaining sunshine while they could, as we knew the time was drawing to a close. One o’clock brought a final lunch followed by a clan re-enactment involving historical weaponry and dress.

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Just as the clouds rolled in, it was time to announce the close of the 2016 Gathering. We made many friends from around the world and are so glad so many of you made the trip and truly hope you can make it again next year (though…we can’t promise the weather will be as pristine!)

Tickets are on sale now!

Did you attend this year’s Gathering? Who was your favourite presenter? What would you like to see more of? Let us know below!


About the author

Written by: Dr. Peter Bevis

Comments on this post

  • Lady Faye Helen Wardle
    16/05/16 - 17:41

    May I give Highland Titles a big vote of thanks for yet another very enjoyable and informative Gathering. The mini heatwave was very welcome as well. See you all in 2017

  • Lord Frederick & Lady Tiffany Oatway
    18/05/16 - 07:43

    What a line up! A truly wonderful weekend with familiar faces and making new friends too. The weather was stunning and I was really taken aback how much the reserve has moved forward in just two years!

    The event was superbly organised as always and the fine weather allowed everyone to enjoy the lock-side BBQ and outdoor-staged events in the sunshine. There were wet-weather plans on standby, but it was lovely not to need them!

    My husband and I enjoyed all of the presentations and were very impressed with the variety of conservation projects that were given the opportunity to present themselves, as well as the calibre of the conservationists. It is rare that I get the opportunity to meet people so passionate about their projects, and it is incredibly heart-warming to know that these people allow all of the people that support their relevant causes to be guardians of their target species for now and for the future.

    What started out as a fun gift idea has quickly turned into a mutual interest for my husband and I, and what a wonderful excuse to take a road trip and soak up the scenery. We looking forward to supporting the reserve and similar projects, and visiting this beautiful part of the Scotish Highlands, for many years to come.

    Thank you to Highland Titles for making this shared experience possible, and to the team for organising this eye-opening, educatiinal, sociable and fun event.

  • Lady Myleine Gougelet
    18/05/16 - 17:54

    We spent 3 wonderful days!
    The timing, the weather, the presentations, the dinner…All was perfect!!!
    We learnt a lot of things about trees, bees and wildcats.
    It was amazing !
    Thank you very much for sharing your passions with us.
    Highland Titles is the best way to unit all nationalities with a great project.
    A bientôt !

  • Lord Règis & Lady Françoise Michel
    19/05/16 - 17:45

    It was our first travel to Scotland and we have discovered a beautiful land with rainbow lanscapes remembering James Bond movy “SKYFAL”.

    Thank you very much to the whole staff for your welcome , your three days so amazing and your passion to keep the nature safe and so nice.

  • Marnie
    12/08/16 - 12:53

    Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brteihgned my day!

  • Lord Frédéric TOBELLEM
    03/03/17 - 16:31

    Malheureusement mon état de santé ne me permettra pas d’être parmi vous, ce que je regrette beaucoup. Je vous souhaite un grand succès bien mérité pour cette amicale et conviviale manifestation.

  • Leboeuf
    04/03/17 - 06:42

    Please could i havé more info about thé détails what we get for thèse 3 days? BBQ? What us it? In french, please

  • Leboeuf
    04/03/17 - 06:49

    Please dôme Word about accomodations? Hôtel?

    • Peter
      05/04/17 - 08:58

      We have booked everyone rooms at the Isles of Glencoe hotel. Please contact [email protected] to book your room.

  • Lord Ruedi zimmermann
    07/03/17 - 20:12

    2018 we are a part of the Party

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