Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just call me Lady Judy of Glencoe

I am a Scot and proud of it. Did you know that the number of people of Scottish descent living in America tops the population of Scotland? Count me as one. My lifelong dream of visiting the Highlands came true a year and a half ago, thanks to my oldest son and daughter, and, as the saying goes, my heart belongs to the Highlands. We visited the MacBain Memorial Park (that's my clan, and the park is a tiny bit of the vast lands once owned by the clan and lost in the clearances--but that's another story) and I felt I had a connection to the land. But now there's an even greater opportunity. I found a site called Scottish Highland Titles.
Highland Titles offers small pieces of land, from one square foot to a thousand, on the Keil Estate in Glencoe Woods--not too far from Glencoe where, if you know your Scottish history (or ballads),  you know the Campbells wiped out the MacDonalds in a dastardly repayment of hospitality. When you buy your wee piece of land you get a properly registered title and may call yourself Laird or Lady. You can visit your land with its view of Loch Linnhe and the Salmon Burn, a river running with salmon (you cannot drive to your land but have to follow a path along the river). You may choose to erect a small cairn or plant a tree; if your land is big enough, you may pitch a tent and camp out--the preserve offers other camping areas too.
But the most important thing is that you are contributing to the preservation of the Highlands. Highland  Titles is devoted to conservancy. Their project focuses on the environment, nurturing the native flora and fauna of the Highlands, including varieties of the Highland thistle, while working to eradicate invasive species, such as one type of rhododendrum. The company keeps the land from developers and provides a woodland home for many native animals and birds--and bats. Animals on the land include red deer, roe deer, badgers, hedgehogs, pine martens, the wood mouse. Specially erected bat houses have attracted many species.
It's hard for me to think that the wild land I saw is threatened by developers but apparently it is, so efforts to preserve it are important. The MacBain Memorial Park does that for one tiny piece (maybe two acres). The Highland Titles Company preserves on a much larger scale. As my son said said, "At least you know it's not a come-on, with the money lining someone's pocket. It's going to a good cause."
Hmmm. Lady of Glencoe. It rolls easily off the tongue, don't you think? Check out the Highland Titles Company at

1 comment:

Amy Jarecki said...

Hi Judy - I'm a Scot too! I got my Masters in Edinburgh...and my daughter and I are going to Scotland in May for a research trip...Great to hear about the conservancy!