All For A Little Plot Of Soil….

Daily Express
Sunday October 16,2011
By Paula Murray
NELSON MANDELA, Ozzy Osbourne, Kate Moss, and Liz Hurley and her new fiancé, Shane Warne, all share an unlikely Scottish link. They are among the growing list of famous names who own a small parcel of land in Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of 1692.

Stephen Fry, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins and Barry Manilow also have a plot of Scottish soil ”“ and the right to use the title Laird or Lady.

Conservation group Highland Titles is”‚restoring”‚750”‚acres”‚of”‚woodland”‚in Glencoe by selling the one-square-foot packages for around £30 each.

It is the brainchild of Professor Peter Bevis, an English biologist, and his wife, Laura, who help manage the property.

The idea has been a huge hit, especially in the US, Canada and Australia, creating 7,500 new Scots landowners in 41 countries over the past year.

Spokeswoman Alex Flewitt said the celebrity endorsements happened almost by accident. She added: “I think initially fans bought a plot of land and sent the pack to Phil Collins and then he got back in touch with us. He loved it.

“Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper were handed the packs as a present on television, and somebody also sent one to Nelson Mandela, whose office got in touch with us praising the concept.

“When Liz Hurley and Shane Warne got engaged we sent them one as an engagement present.

“And before Kate Moss got married she gave an interview where she said she felt she deserved a title from the Queen for her services to fashion and modelling.

“So when she had her hen do we sent her and all her hens a pack. It has just steamrolled on from there.”

While some landowners like to use their”‚titles”‚to”‚receive”‚preferential treatment from airlines, hotels”‚and restaurants, others are happy just to own a piece of the Highlands and support a good cause.

One man even uses his square foot to grow potatoes, while some companies have bought full acres and used them to plant trees as team-building exercises.

Next year, Highland Titles will join the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Woods Project and donate 60 acres to help the plantation of six million trees.

Ms Flewitt ”“ who is herself a Lady thanks to the scheme ”“ added: “To think it started off as an eBay business which took off very quickly.

“I’ve been to Australia after a TV company there heard about us, and I’ve been to the USA and Canada.

“Next month American filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, famous for his Supersize Me documentary, is coming over to do a bit of filming.

“But there is one celebrity whose endorsement we would really welcome. We’d really like the King of Scotland, David Tennant on board.”

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