Bold plans for a striking viewing tower at the award-winning Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross have been unveiled.
The 65ft-tall observation tower would be installed below the High Viewpoint overlooking Loch Ewe, deep in Inverewe Garden.
The National Trust for Scotland has released the first public sketches of the tower, which have been submitted to Highland Council for planning consent.
If given the go-ahead, the tower would provide unique panoramic views for visitors with minimal impact on surroundings and could be used to host educational talks.
The sustainable development plans mark the latest in a series of projects undertaken by the conservation charity to enhance the visitor experience at the heritage garden, which attracted almost 200,000 visitors last year.
Simon Skinner, chief executive at the National Trust for Scotland, said: “Inverewe Garden has been earmarked as one of our priority projects over the next few years. It is part of our wider plans to spend £57million enhancing the visitor experience and condition of heritage at the sites and properties in our care.
“As a result of the Gulf Stream meeting the Highlands, Inverewe Garden is a nirvana of unusual and wonderful plants and wildlife.
“This exciting project will create another fantastic dimension at the estate, providing visitors with a whole new experience and way to enjoy Scotland’s national and natural treasures; all while helping us to establish the property as an international centre of arts and culture.”
Clea Warner, general manager at the National Trust for Scotland North West Region, added: “We’ve seen a surge in visitor numbers at Inverewe thanks to our recent investment including the renovation of Inverewe House, the development of the new Sawyer Gallery and Bothy Café, as well as new glasshouses.
“This next phase of development at Inverewe will make it an even more coveted place to visit while protecting the landscape now and for future generations to come.”
Inverewe has developed a full and varied events programme aligned to a new museum and art gallery.
There are also plans for a new light and projection system.
The estate has received national recognition being voted the UK’s number one garden in 2017 and bagging the Gold Award for the Inverewe House project at the Marketing Society Star Awards 2018.