London: Poyser, 2000. Large octavo, colour photographs, text illustrations by John Busby , fine copy in dustwrapper.
The National Trust for Scotland is one of the largest landowners in Scotland owning 300 square miles, or 1 % of its countryside. Most people are aware that the Trust has ownership of and responsibility for - on behalf o f the nation - many fine houses, castles and gardens. Few, however, are aware that, within its general purpose written into the 1935 Act establishing the Trust, it has responsibility also .... as regards lands for the preservation of their natural aspect and features and animals and plant life .... Half of the Trust land is designated for its natural heritage in one form or another, several properties are National Nature Reserves, one is a Council of Europe Diploma site and another is a World Heritage Site for its natural heritage - the highest accolade that can be bestowed. Where are these properties? What are the Trust's credentials for natural heritage management? What sort of management is being carried out on these properties and why? How does this management compare to that carried out by other conservation bodies and private estate owners in Scotland? Could, or should, the Trust be doing more and does the Trust expend its resources equally across its cultural and natural heritage responsibilities? Finally, as landlord, how does the Trust regard the role of the local community within its properties and will Land Reform change this role? These and other questions are looked into in this book in an examination of a cross-section of the Trust's Highlands and Islands properties from Mar Lodge Estate to St Kilda and from Ben Lawers to Fair Isle. The opening chapter briefly describes the history of the Trust and discusses some of the general countryside management issues of the day with which the Trust has to grapple. Then follow chapters on ten properties which look critically and intimately at their management. The final chapter sums up where the Trust stands today as a natural heritage manager in Scotland and suggests that there is an opportunity ahead for radical change.
The book has been generously supported by the National Trust for Scotland and its staff and the author has had access to all the information requested, ensuring that the result is a rounded and accurate account.
Price: $60.00 AU