The National Trust for Scotland is investing £60million to preserve the country’s natural heritage – the famous Inverewe Gardens in the Highlands.
In what has been described its “most ambitious” programme, the charity wants to increase its members from 375,000 to 490,000 and up its annual donations to more than £10million.
Key amongst its plans will be the construction of a “box” around Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s The Hill House in Helensburgh, in a bid to protect the architecturally renowned property.
The charity is also looking at how it can enhance visitor experience at its properties, as well as preserving them for future generations.
As part of that element, there are plans for a viewing platform at Inverewe Gardens – which is already growing in popularity due to the success of the North Coast 500.
The garden and estate was one of the first of the trust’s “priority properties” for new investment and the first phase resulted in a new £500,000 glasshouse as part of a major refurbishment.
The next stage of investment is to find a way to unite the upper and lower garden and to present a feature that will entrance visitors.
The proposal is to create a tower which provides access between the gardens and also functions as a viewpoint over Loch Ewe.
Chief executive Simon Skinner said: “This strategy outlines everything that the National Trust for Scotland stands for – protecting our heritage, sharing unique experiences with people and promoting Scotland, all through the collective endeavour of our supporters and staff.
“To do that, we need to create an efficient and sustainable business which delivers our conservation ambitions.”
He added: “Our charity is unique in Scotland in that its remit is to protect the full spectrum of cultural, built and natural heritage.
“This plan for the next five years sets out how we can make the trust fit for the future, through investment in every aspect of our organisation – our people, our places, and delivering the technology that both of them need in an ever-changing world.
“We have a range of bold projects under way the length and breadth of Scotland from The Hill House in Helensburgh and Brodick Castle on Arran, all the way up to our ongoing investment in Inverewe Garden.
“This strategy gives us a renewed focus on the future and underlines our commitment to the totality of Scotland’s heritage, landscapes, and legacy and what it can do for our communities.”