The National Trust for Scotland is to sell off some of its properties as part of a series of reforms to save it from collapse, after a damning review found the organisation had no central asset register of what it owns or any idea of repair costs.
The report states that the 79-year-old National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which owns many of the country’s most famous sites such as Culloden battlefield, Culzean Castle and the islands of St Kilda, is in a shambolic state, thanks in part to a “byzantine” management structure involving 87 trustees and more than 100 non-executive members.
It is to sell off a series of less significant buildings, including bungalows, byres and farm steadings gifted in wills, and lease other major properties to charities, trusts and private tenants.A source suggested the sell-off could extend to the trust’s 78,000 hectares of land and coastline, which includes famous wilderness areas such as Glencoe.
The trust owns 26 castles, palaces and country houses, crowned, for many, by this grand Italianate property. Built on cliffs in Ayrshire by Robert Adam for the Earl of Cassillis, it has 229 hectares of landscaped parkland. It was completed in 1792.
The location of an infamous massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells, Glencoe features eight challenging Munros, mountains over 3,000ft, more than 5,000 years of human settlement. Its famous scenery is seen by a million visitors a year.
The only place in Britain to be a double world heritage site, for its archaeology and its wildlife, the islands of St Kilda lie 41 miles west of the outer Hebrides, boasting northern Europe’s largest seabird colony and rare marine life.