Produced by The Local’s Creative Studio in partnership with Highland TitlesAre These Celebrities Descendants of Scottish Clans? | Highland Titles

 How to become a Lord or Lady 

(and help save the Scottish Highlands)

The Highland Titles Nature Reserve from above, Video: Highland Titles

Imagine it: You’re standing on a gently sloping hillside, looking out on a majestic snow-capped mountain ridge. The morning air is crisp, the subtle scent of heather mixing with the earthy peat. These are the Scottish Highlands – and you own a part of it, as a Laird (Lord) or Lady.

For centuries, the Scottish Highlands were under the stewardship of Lairds, landowners who would manage their estate for farming, hunting and fishing.

These Lairds, drawn from the Highland clans, have become part of Scottish tradition and folklore, inspiring books and TV shows such as ‘Outlander’ and ‘Rob Roy’ (based on the life of the Scottish outlaw). 

Together with Highland Titles, we show you how you can join their ranks, while contributing to the conservation of the Scottish Highlands, restoring the countryside and bringing back vital native species

an osprey on the hunt, in flight with a fish caught in a lake in northern finland

   An osprey snatches a fish from a loch. Photo: Getty Images

Salachan Burn bubbles and flows. Photo: Highland Titles

Lords and Ladies of Glencoe

Devoted to preserving the unspoiled, wild beauty of the Highlands, the family-run Highland Titles hit upon the idea of utilising a unique aspect of Scottish law.  In exchange for purchasing a small plot of land – as small as one square foot – buyers could legally term themselves a Lord, ‘Laird’ or Lady of Glencoe. 

As Director Doug Wilson tells us: “Souvenir plots have been sold in the United Kingdom since at least 1971. Now, they’re only available in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“You get what’s known as a personal right to a plot of land. It’s a valid and legal form of ownership that can be passed onto future generations.”

Since its establishment in 2007, Highland Titles has drawn customers from Australia, the United States and all over the world, keen to take on a title and own a piece of the Highlands.  

Positive publicity from around the world allowed Highland Titles to expand to own four other properties in the surrounding area, which are now being returned to a wild and natural state.

The majesty of the Scottish Highlands, seen from the Highland Titles Nature Reserve. Photo: Highland Titles

Guardians of the Glen

From the beginning, sustainable conservation of the Glencoe region was at the forefront of Highland Titles’ dreams for growth – and one that Wilson knew would take years to make a reality.  “Conservation is frustratingly long-term,” he says.

Access paths had to be built into the reserves, fences built and native plants and wildlife reintroduced. It was, by no means, something achieved overnight and without the help of many volunteers.

Yet, since its founding, Highland Titles has managed to re-establish populations of  osprey, squirrels and hedgehogs within its reserves. It even runs a hospital for injured hedgehogs, that is assisting in their repopulation efforts. 

Trail cameras regularly catch deer, foxes, squirrels and other mammals and bird life making the nature reserves their home, and the company continuously consults its property owners – that is to say, the Lairds and Ladies of Glencoe – on what species should be prioritized next in their conservation efforts.

A red squirrel enjoys a snack in the Highland Titles Nature Reserve. Video: Highland Titles


“I genuinely believe we sell the most engaging gift in the world.”

An ongoing investment

Engagement with their community of landowners is at the core of Highland Titles’ every day operations.

“I genuinely believe we sell the most engaging gift in the world,” says Wilson of its land ownership offerings.

“There’s not another company like us that converses so often and so well with our customers.

“We meet thousands of people every year at the nature reserve, and we hold the Highland Gathering, a two-day event.

“We get people who can’t believe what we’re doing. A few year ago we showed two people up to their plot and gave them a tour. 

“They were dumbfounded and asked us ‘How can you do this? We gave you £30 ten years ago!’”

Lords, Lairds or Ladies can visit the Highland Titles Nature Reserve at Duror, near Glencoe and be shown their plot at any time. Volunteers will help them find their plot, and show them the progress made possible by their support.

For those Lords and Ladies that decide to visit their plot, a number of local accommodation and service providers offer discounts to Highland Titles customers.

A gift that will last a lifetime

Becoming a Laird or Lady is easy on the Highland Titles website. Customers can choose to receive a luxury physical gift pack, or an eco-friendly digital gift pack that is proving to be an extremely popular option with last-minute shoppers and the environmentally conscious, as the digital pack is instantly available. With Christmas coming up, they make an ideal gift.

Whatever you choose, you can be sure the gift of land will last forever!

SCOTLAND

Scottish politician slammed for snubbing Legoland

A Scottish councilman is under fire after leaving his taxpayer-funded trip to Denmark after just two hours because Legoland's cabins didn't meet his "certain standard".

Scottish politician slammed for snubbing Legoland
Legoland's standard Wild West Cabin was not up to the politician's standards. Photo: Legoland
Legoland in Billund is one of Denmark’s most popular tourist attractions, but for Scottish politician Martin Kitts-Hayes it is apparently so “disgusting” that he was willing to waste £5,000 (48,375 kroner) of taxpayer money and leave the amusement park after being there for less than two hours.
 
Kitts-Hayes flew to Billund for a conference on North Sea jobs but turned around and left when he found the Legoland accommodations not up to his standards, the Daily Record reported
 
The newspaper wrote that Kitts-Hayes was at his rental residence in Legoland’s Wild West Cabins for less than two hours before leaving it in a huff and demanding a flight back to Scotland. The Aberdeenshire Councilman made the others in his delegation leave as well.
 
Kitts-Hayes, who the Daily Record reports is orchestrating £28 million of austerity cuts, defended his decision to leave Legoland. 
 
“We tried to get alternative accommodation and couldn’t, so we came back. The accommodation was disgusting. It was worse than a B&B – it was a shed. We were in what was described as holiday chalets which were basically sheds,” he told the newspaper. 
 
“We don’t want to be wasting council money. But we expect a certain standard,” he added. 
 
A staff member at the Aberdeenshire Council told the Daily Record that workers were furious with Kitts-Hayes’s wasteful trip. 
 
“It makes me really angry because we’re facing millions of pounds worth of cuts. Kitts-Hayes was one of the main spokespeople for the cuts, saying we have to make efficiencies across the council cutting frontline services,” the anonymous staffer said. 
 
"We are under unrelenting pressure to reduce our costs, but it’s obviously a case of one rule for them and another for the lowly administrators,” they added. 
 
A Legoland spokesman told The Local that the delegation did not file any complaint before checking out. 
 
"The delegation booked three Wild West cabins in our holiday village after the official deadline for the conference registration," Legoland's PR coordinator Kasper Tangsig said. "Our staff asked if there was any problems with the accommodation but they said they had to go home."
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