Following a review of the information that was available in 2018/19, and with some legal advice from Murchison Law, we know that:
- Up until 2002 the woods (probably extending to around 5 to 6 Ha.) and some surrounding land were owned by a company called Tullochs Homes (Culduthel) Ltd. In 2002 the company was “dissolved voluntarily”, presumably because they had built all of the houses that they could and had no further interest in the woods.
- In Scots law, the title of the land in such situations falls to the Crown, whose representative in Scotland is a little-known organisation called “The Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer” or QLTR.
- In 2013/14 the QLTR corresponded with The Highland Council and the Community Council about the land – but neither organisation was inclined, or able, to take on ownership of the land.
- The QLTR is not obliged to own and manage any land and in July 2014 they formally disclaimed the land. This left the woods technically ownerless.
- It is important to note that all the trees are still protected by the Highland Council’s Tree Preservation Order and that it is an offence for any person to cut or prune a tree without permission.
There are still quite few things we don’t know about land-ownership in the area – we don’t know the exact boundaries of who owns which land around about the woods; and some of the maps in the early title deeds seem to be missing. We will now work to take the woods into community ownership using a legal process that will take some time to complete. Please get in touch if you have any information about land–ownership in the area.