Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Villagers rejoice as Highlands Rewilding secures £10.5 million to buy Tayvallich Estate

Tayvallich village.
Tayvallich village.

There is huge relief in an Argyll village today with the news that a rewilding project has secured funds to buy the local estate.

Tayvallich Estate in Mid Argyll, which includes an island and a peninsula twice the size of Gibraltar, went on the market last year.

Tayvallich Estate.

The estate is home to some of the most important geological and ecological landscape in Scotland with its rare Atlantic temperate rainforest. There are also 13 tenanted houses.

Offers for over £10.465 million were sought for the whole 3,500 acres, or it was available in 13 individual lots.

Many of the tenants feared they could lose their homes as a result of the estate sale.

Highlands Rewilding acquires the £10.5 million for Tayvallich Estate

But the favoured bidder, Highlands Rewilding, has announced it has acquired the cash needed to buy it.

Highlands Rewilding raises funds from crowdfunding, financial institutions and smaller investors. It intends to carry out nature rewilding and create community prosperity.

The project owns two existing rewilding sites, Bunloit in Inverness and Beldorney in Aberdeenshire.

Founder and chief executive is Dr Jeremy Leggett, a former Greenpeace director. He made an exclusive offer to buy Tayvallich Estate for £10.5 million.

Tayvallich Estate’s main house Coshandrochaid.

The agreement was that funds must be raised by the end of February.

Dr Leggett said: “The team is looking forward to the many aspects of work we will be able to do on Tayvallich.

“A rich tapestry of habitats onshore and offshore will provide fertile ground for our data acquisition and processing, and natural-capital verification science.

“The many activities we will be able to pursue with the local community will give us the chance to create an exemplar of community-company synergy and enshrine public integrity principles with ethical private interests.”

Community fears over sale of estate

Community concerns over the future of the estate, which employs local people on the farm, resulted in the Tayvallich Initiative being formed.

Martin Mellor, chairman of the Tayvallich Initiative, said: “There’s a feeling in the community that it is good to have a neighbouring landowner who has community prosperity and job creation at its heart.

“The school roll is getting quite low. There is a desire to ensure people are coming into the area. We feel we can make a difference.

“It’s the first time the land has been sold in quite a few decades. There was concern for the tenancies and for employment on the estate. These are things Highlands Rewilding have highlighted they will continue.

A view of the estate. image: John Aitchison

“Highlands Rewilding has an interest in community prosperity and repopulation. They recognize that it’s very important to work with local communities.”

Mr Mellor is a tenant in an estate house. He added: “It is good news because it means the tenancies will continue. There are a lot of families who live on the estate and have employment in the community.

“People were concerned about what the future might hold if tenancies weren’t continued.”

Leona Selfridge and Gary Anderson live in an estate house with their three daughters. Leona is a cleaner and works in the village shop, while Gary is a gardener and cleans the village hall.

‘We would have been forced to leave the village’

Ms Selfridge said if their tenancy wasn’t continued, they would have been forced to leave the village. She said: “There are no houses here for rent at all because there are so many seconds homes and holiday homes.”

Ms Selfridge added: “We are really happy because we had a meeting with Dr Leggett when it first came out he was looking to buy and we got really good vibes from him. His plan for the estate is really good. It’s going to be a huge thing for the village. He is the right person for the job.

“If our houses were sold, we would have been absolutely devastated. This whole year for all the families on the estate has been so traumatic. Not knowing whether we were going to have to leave. It has been really hard, but this is good news.”

Highlands Rewilding intends to close the purchase of Tayvallich Estate by the end of March. Details of the investment will be made public in due course.

The funding news comes as the Highlands Rewilding project team extend its crowdfund and fundraising campaign for a further two months until the end of April.

This was agreed to fully test investor sentiment on the back of its strengthened business case of adding another estate to its portfolio.

Are you interested in more exclusive and breaking Highland and Islands news from the P&J? If so, why not join our dedicated Facebook page