• Germany's news in English
 

How to join Scotland’s landed gentry

Published: 16 Apr 2012 18:06 GMT+02:00

The intriguing concept, operated by the company Highland Titles, has its roots in conservation. The Scottish Highlands are truly beautiful and unspoiled, and once the ownership of the land is divided up between thousands of different people it makes it impossible for the land to be sold and later built upon.

As well as protecting the land from developers, Highland Titles undertake tree planting on a large scale. In the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the company is celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II by planting 60 acres of native Scottish broadleaf trees.

“We sell land in Scotland to the general public to aid conservation and reforestation, and it costs as little as £30 (€36) per square foot,” says Highland Titles’ Lady Alex Flewitt. The company was formed when it’s founders realised that they would need the help of the public to carry out tree planting on a meaningful scale.

“We wanted to replant the land with native broadleaf trees like ash, elm, birch, willow or alder but ran out of money,” Lady Alex adds. “So we got the public involved with this unique selling point of becoming a Scottish landowner, which allows you to use the courtesy titles of Laird, Lord or Lady.”

The concept proved popular and the profits were ploughed back into purchasing more land. Having started with 20 acres, the company has now safeguarded 750 acres of land, ensuring that the scenery is there to be enjoyed by future generations and also providing a real haven for wildlife. There are 19 pairs of golden eagles that nest in Glencoe Wood, and the scenic landscape is a natural habitat for deer, badgers, stoats and foxes and hundred of species of lichen and moss.

“Our biggest markets are the UK, America and Australia but Europe is big for us now too. There seems to be a very large and enthusiastic Scottish contingent in Germany,” Lady Alex says. “It really does fascinate all sorts of people.”

Even though Scottish landowners can now be found in the far corners of the world, it is surprisingly common for landowners to visit plot. Some people plant flags and take photographs, whilst others take their tent and go camping.

Plots of various sizes can be bought online, from one square foot to 1,000 square feet, and every new landowner receives a certificate, a map with reference coordinates and a legal title deed – official documentation, recognised internationally, that enables you to change your title accordingly.

That’s when you can start to reap the rewards of your newfound status - everything from flight upgrades to shocking the policeman that pulls you over.

Laird is an old Scottish word meaning ‘landowner’. Both men and women can adopt the title Laird, or choose Lord or Lady respectively. Whilst these titles are fun and impressive, they are quite different from the titles bestowed by the British queen. Nonetheless, Lady Alex has experienced advantages that far outweigh the cost of her sole square foot of land.

“I’ve changed my credit and debit cards and drivers license,” she says. “And I use my title when I’m travelling anywhere – booking flights and hotels – and often get upgraded!”

Another reason for owning a piece of Scotland is ancestry. The recent surge of popularity in researching family history has prompted interest “Quite rightly, people are very proud of their Scottish ancestry, and now it can be celebrated by owning a little piece of Scottish land,” she adds.

Highland Titles next project is to unite their global network.

“Our community is really thriving on Facebook so, via social networking, we are looking towards arranging some events in Scotland and around the world to connect our Lords, Ladies and Lairds,” Lady Alex says.

And even if owning such a title is not for you, it could be for someone you know – the perfect present perhaps for the person who already has everything.

Article sponsored by Highland Titles

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd