2 November 2001

Scots forest living monument on offer

A SCOTTISH pine forest and wildlife haven, described as a "living monument", is on sales from woodland specialist John Clegg & Co.

Known as the Wild Woods of Anagach, the forest covers almost 1000 acres adjacent to Grantown-on-Spey, near Inverness, and is one of the largest areas of naturally regenerated Scots Pine in the country.

It was originally planted in 1766 by current owner, the Seafield Estate, using seed from Abernethy – one of the remnants of the original Caledonian forest that covered almost four million acres of Scotland. Anagach is home to many rare species including the red squirrel and pine martin.

But agent Jon Lambert says the property is not economically viable and no longer fits in with the financial aims of the estate, which runs 90,000 acres of farmland and forestry. "Anagach is not a commercial holding, more a work of art."

This, he says, made the valuation exercise very difficult. "Nothing like this has come on the open market before, we literally worked out the cost of buying land and establishing a similar forest over 150 years."

The eventual outcome was a guide price of £1m for the principal 850-acre lot. Seven smaller lots ranging from £5-40,000 are also available. "We wanted to give local people the opportunity to own a piece of the woods," notes Mr Lambert.

Enquiries have already been keen, he adds, with several wealthy individuals and a number of conservation bodies expressing interest. A purchase could also appeal to a large corporation wanting to bolster its green credentials, he reckons. &#42

The Wild Woods of Anagach – "a work of art".