Varragill Forest and the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye, Scotlands second largest island, is renowned for its rugged beauty and contains significant areas of commercial forestry.
Varragill Forest is nestled in a relatively sheltered glen immediately south of the islands main town, Portree. At the northern end of the Property,
Portree and the Sound of Raasay unfold immediately below with the Old Man of Storr situated to the north.
Varragill Forest extends to approximately 624.8 hectares (1,543.9 acres), comprising 403.39 hectares of timber crops with an average weighted
conifer age of 29 years and a further 11.34 hectares awaiting replanting.
This is an opportunity to acquire a large commercial forest, well-serviced for the most part by proven existing infrastructure. Over 175 hectares of 40+ years old conifer crops are present offering potential (subject to obtaining the necessary felling permissions) for income generation from timber sales. Sitka spruce, the most important productive conifer in Scottish forests, makes up the majority of both mature and young crops.
Much of the forest has undergone extensive harvesting and replanting over the past 20 years and is predominantly commercial conifer in
LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS
Varragill Forest is found on the Isle of Skye in the highland region of Scotland and occupies relatively low lying land ranging from 10m to around 200m above sea level on gently to moderately sloping ground.
The Property is located approximately 1 mile south of the town of Portree and benefits from good access onto the A87 and the B883, which are an Agreed Timber Haul Route and a Consultation Route, respectively. From the Skye Bridge, follow the A87 west and north towards Portree; the south of the Property (Lot 3) is located after approximately 25 miles.
Consisting of five separate woodland blocks, Varragill Forest is offered for sale either as a whole or in three lots.
Lot 1 Portree Forest (compartmented
area 142.66 ha / 352.52 acres) - OFFERS OVER £375,000 - STILL AVAILABLE
Lot 1, Portree Forest is accessed directly from the A87 at Grid Reference NG 475 407 (point A on Lotting map), approximately 1 mile south of The
Aros Centre in Portree. The access runs predominantly south to north through the woodland and comprises a well-made and proven forest road extending the entire length of the block.
Lot 1 extends to approximately 142.66 ha and boasts spectacular views to the north and east. Much of the forest is second generation, but there
are still significant areas of mature crop. Sitka spruce, in pure stands and in mixtures, accounts for over 70% of the stocked area.
Lot 2 Gaskin and Braes (compartmented area
135.27 ha / 334.26 acres) - OFFERS OVER £300,000 - UNDER OFFER
Lot 2 comprises two blocks to the east and west of
the Varragill River and the A87. The main access to the eastern block is taken from the A87 at Grid Reference NG 479 389 (point D), leading to approximately 230 metres of forest road. Northern parts of the eastern block are also accessible from the B883. One of these entrances, an area of hardstanding, is found at Grid Reference NG 477
408 (point B) and the other entrance with existing access from the public road is located at NG 480 400 (point C).
The western block is located to the west of the River Varragill and the A87, access taken at Grid Reference NG 478 397 (point E). The forest road is approximately 850 metres in length, serving the entire compartment.
This is an attractive area extending to approximately 135.27 ha which provides an intimate mix of first and second generation conifer crops and conservation amenity. Young replanted crops have generally established well following harvesting but there remains a considerable area of mature first rotation crops to fell.
There is an obligation to replant 11.34 ha of felled over land.
Lot 3 Glen Varragill Forest (compartmented area
338.03 ha / 835.29 acres) - OFFERS OVER £1,025,000 - STILL AVAILABLE
Lot 3, Glen Varragill Forest, encompasses two woodlands situated east and west of the Varragill River and the A87.
In the eastern block, a recently constructed
forest road spur gives access to the northern
section from the A87 at Grid Reference NG 476
364 (point G). While there are no forest roads
within the southern section of the eastern
block, a hammerhead for turning and stacking
timber has been established at Grid Reference
NG 474 349 (point H) providing access to the public road, along with several informal entrances along the eastern edge of the A87.
Servicing the entire western block, a well-made
forest road joins from the A87 at Grid Reference NG 471 343 (point I), crossing a single span bridge (point J) which has provided access for the harvesting and haulage of substantial volumes of timber over recent years.
Lot 3 extends to approximately 338.03 ha.
The eastern section contains extensive areas of first generation crops planted in the 1960s, characterised by stands of pure Sitka spruce and Sitka spruce intimately mixed with Lodgepole pine. The western block has been largely restructured during the past decade and primarily replanted with crops dominated by Sitka spruce.
The Property is registered under the Integrated
Administration and Control System (IACS) and has been managed under a Forestry Commission Scotland (now known as Scottish Forestry) approved Long Term Forest Plan since 2017 (ref. 16FGS06294). There are replanting maintenance obligations associated with the forest design plan until 2024/25 for Lot 1 and woodland improvement
grant obligations for Lot 3.
Information on the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and grant scheme availability can be accessed through the following websites:
https://forestry.gov.scot and https://ww2.gov.scot/
Sporting rights are included in the sale and are currently let on a short-term lease. Both Red and Roe deer are present and the presence of clearings, rides, open areas and young crops provides good opportunity for deer management,
necessary to protect tree crops from damage. Please note that while Lot 2 contains a section of the River Varragill in the sale, no salmon fishing rights are included.
Mineral rights are included in the sale except on part of Lot 3 and as reserved by statute.
Lots 1 and 2 are protected by stock fencing. Maintenance of the northern and western boundary of Lot 1 is shared with Forestry and Land Scotland (formerly known as Forestry Commission Scotland) with the option to upgrade at the owners own expense. Responsibility for other fences in Lots
1 and 2 remain the sole responsibility of the owner. Parts of Lot 3, Glen Varragill Forest east block, are to be maintained on a mutual basis with the adjoining owner and the rest are to be erected and maintained at the owners own expense.
THIRD PARTY RIGHTS AND BURDENS
The Property will be sold subject to and with the benefit of all servitude rights, burdens, reservations and any other third party rights howsoever constituted.
There are overhead electricity transmission lines
throughout all lots. It is assumed wayleaves are in favour of Scottish & Southern Energy.
A short section of the road leading to the western block of Lot 2 is not owned but a full and unrestricted servitude right of access exists (points E-F).
The entrance to the western block of Lot 3 is via a
heritable and irredeemable servitude right of access for forestry purposes over a well-made bridge and forest road from the A87 at Grid Reference NG 471 343 (points I-J).
A telecommunications mast site is located on the west side of Lot 3. A 20-year lease runs until August 2037 and currently returns £5,250 per annum, payable in advance and reviewed every three years (first review due August 2020) to whichever is the higher of (a) base rent indexed
forward by General Index of Retail Prices or (b) Open Market Rent.
An area of hardstanding in the north of Lot 2 returns £1,800 per annum in rent under a lease which is due to expire in 2020.
For detailed information, please contact Bidwells to
access further information on specific elements of the Property, including the Long Term Forest Plan, contracts, detailed compartment schedules, compartmented maps, available leases, Title information, sporting records etc. via a secure online data room, available to those who have formally noted their interest.
Please note, there are discrepancies between the
area shown on the Title Plan (624.80 ha) and the area detailed in the compartment schedule (615.96 ha). This is partly a result of unmapped riparian areas in Lot 2. The management company maps which are available in the data room include sub-compartment and species data.
The Property will be sold as per the Title.
VIEWING AND CLOSING DATE
Viewing is strictly by appointment with the Selling Agents.
It is anticipated that a closing date for best offers will be set in due course but the Seller reserves the right to sell without setting a formal closing date.
The Seller will not be bound to accept the highest or indeed any offer.
Potential purchasers are advised to formally register their interest, in order that they may be informed if a closing date for offers is set.
PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS AND FINANCIAL
Any offer by prospective purchaser(s), regardless of where they are ordinarily resident must be accompanied by a guarantee from a banker who is acceptable to the Seller. Any offer by prospective purchaser(s) that is to be reliant on finance must also be accompanied by supporting documents acceptable to the Seller.
ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS
Prospective purchasers will be required to produce
identification sufficient to satisfy anti-money laundering regulations and checks against the intended purchaser or nominee together with other documentation that may be required, from time to time, in order to support any conditional offers submitted to the Seller. Bidwells LLP accepts no liability of any type arising from your delay or
other lack of co-operation. We may hold your name on our database unless you instruct us otherwise.
Bidwells, Broxden House
Lamberkine Drive, Perth PH1 1RA
Tel: 01738 630666
Bidwells, Broxden House
Lamberkine Drive, Perth PH1 1RA
Tel: 01738 630666
Highlands and Islands Conservancy
Tel: 0300 067 6950
The Highland Council
Telephone: 01349 886606
Bidwells LLP acting for themselves and for the vendors of this Property, whose agents they are, give notice that: Nothing contained in these particulars or their contents or actions, both verbally or in writing, by Bidwells LLP form any offer or contract, liability or implied obligation to any applicants, viewing parties or prospective purchasers of the Property to the fullest extent permitted by law and should not be relied
upon as statements or representative of fact. No person in the employment of Bidwells LLP or any joint agents has authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatever in relation to this Property. Any areas of measurements or distances are approximate. The text, photographs and plans are for guidance only, may not be to scale and are not necessarily comprehensive. Any photographs displayed in these particulars depict
only part of the Property and it should not be assumed that any items seen therein are included in the sale, or that the Property remains as displayed in the photographs. No assumptions should be made regarding other parts of the property that have not been photographed. No assumptions should be made that the Property
has all necessary planning, building regulation or other consents. Bidwells LLP has not carried out a survey, nor tested the services, appliances or facilities. Purchasers must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise.
Where applicable all rentals and prices are quoted exclusive of VAT unless otherwise stated. Should there be any discrepancy between these particulars and the Missives of Sale, the latter shall prevail. OS licence no. ES 100017734. © Copyright Bidwells LLP 2017. Bidwells LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (registered number OC 344553). Registered office is Bidwell House, Trumpington Road, Cambridge
CB2 9LD where a list of members is available for inspection. Your statutory rights are not affected by this notice.
Sales Particulars prepared December 2019.
Photographs taken in 2019.