Monday, 9 July 2012

Highland Titles Glencoe Estates Diamond Jubilee Wood Project At Keil Hill

Highland Titles Glencoe Estates claim to be planting a 60 acre 30,000 tree Diamond Jubilee Wood at Keil hill, and also claim that the Woodland Trust examined the site to give advice.

Quotes from their website
"and have been most appreciative of the advice given to us by the Woodland Trust** on the suitability of our proposed project"
"** Highland Titles acknowledges the valuable support given by the Woodland Trust during their visit to Keil Hill to inspect the site with us in 2011."
"Our plans have already been laid with the active support and expertise of various conservation bodies."
I was concerned about the suitability of the site for the planting of native Scottish species of trees, so I contacted the Woodland Trust to enquire as to whether they did conduct a site inspection and what the results of the inspection were. Below is the reply from Andrew Campbell, Senior Advice and Partnerships Manager for the Woodland Trust.
Dear xxxxx

Your e-mail has been passed to me for my attention.

We are aware of Highland Titles and their web-site regarding their Diamond Jubilee Wood.

I did visit the site in October 2011 following an enquiry by the owner about the suitability of the site as a Diamond Jubilee Wood as part of the Woodland Trust’s UK Jubilee Woods project.

We did not approve the site as a Diamond Jubilee wood candidate on the grounds of area (the possible planting areas identified as suitable for native tree species was less than our required 60 acres) and the limited people engagement opportunities during the establishment stage on the site.  Following us turning this Diamond Jubilee Woodland proposal down we have had no further correspondence with the owners or their local agent.

For clarification, we are not endorsing this site - this is a project entirely separate from our own Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods project.

With regards

Andrew Campbell
Senior Advice and Partnerships Manager
In this newsletter (*** see note at foot) Highland Titles claimed that they were in "partnership with the Jubilee Wood project for The Woodland Trust". This is clearly misleading as the Woodland Trust did not approve the project. Even though they were rejected as being unsuitable, they still claimed to be a part of the Woodland Trust Jubilee Wood project!

If Highland Titles Glencoe Estates are actually planting this wood on Keil Hill, they are doing so without advice given by the experts at the Woodland Trust.

Which must also bring into question the suitability of the site for all the other trees they claim to be planting. If the Woodland Trust could not find 60 acres suitable for the planting of native species of trees, where then are they planting the thousands of trees every year they are claiming?

Readers may also be interested in this blog post.

*** The text in this newsletter has been altered recently. I will put up a link to the original which I have a copy of when I find somewhere to put it and the time to put it there. Thanks to this forum thread for alerting me to this fact

Original Highland Titles newsletter text reads:
"Highland Titles is proud to announce a new partnership with the Jubilee Wood project for the Woodland Trust"

Altered Highland Titles newsletter text reads:
"Highland Titles is proud to announce a new project; creating a Diamond Jubilee Wood with advice from the Woodland Trust"

UPDATE 26/08/2012
The text on the website has now also changed and so has the story. It now reads:

"Highland Titles acknowledges the valuable support given by the Woodland Trust during their visit to Keil Hill to inspect the site with us in 2011. The Woodland Trust confirmed that the land was entirely suitable for planting, but that as only 50 acres of the proposed new 60 acre wood would be newly planted (the other 10 acres being existing larch woodland and birch) we would not qualify to be included in their Diamond Woods scheme"

Andrew Campbell of the Woodland Trust denies having ever indicated that the land is suitable for planting, either in part or as a whole.

I have a lot more evidence suggesting dishonest and unethical business practices by several souvenir plot / title vendors which I have not published.. If you are a bona fide journalist or Government department with an interest in investigating this business and would like access to that evidence, please get in touch with me by using the email address on the right or sending me a comment marked "confidential", I will not publish comments so marked

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