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29 November, 2019

Scottish Natural Heritage and Luss Estates reach agreement over poisoning of 300 beech trees at Loch Lomond beauty spot

SCOTTISH Natural Heritage and Luss Estates have today reached an agreement following the conclusion of a dispute on the killing of over 300 mature beech trees on the island of Inchtavannach by chemical injection. Landowner Luss Estates and Scottish Natural Heritage have agreed to work together towards a healthy and positive working relationship, as the best way forward in conserving and protecting local nature.

David Maclennan, SNH Area Manager for Argyll and the Outer Hebrides said:

“Although Luss Estates was party to the original management agreement in 2013, which posited the removal of rhododendron and, by selective felling, of “non-native species” over a five year period, Scottish Natural Heritage accepts that the subsequent amendment, which proposed to kill all the beech trees on Inchtavannach in a single operation by chemical injection of glyphosate was not shared with Luss Estates Company. SNH apologise for what was, with hindsight, an error on our part. We should have ensured that Luss Estates Company was informed of and consented to the proposed operations. The speed, scale, and visual impact of the operation was much greater than anticipated, and we recognise that this has caused considerable detriment and upset to Luss Estates Company, and to Sir Malcolm Colquhoun personally. For this we unreservedly apologise.

“There remains a need to undertake works to remove fallen timber from agreed areas – and we have offered to do this through a new agreement. Looking forward, we remain committed to working in partnership with Luss Estates Company to protect and enhance the island for future generations.”

Simon Miller of Luss Estates said “After nearly six years, we are pleased that SNH has apologised for the killing of the beech trees at Inchtavannach, and accept this gesture. SNH has now agreed, at its expense, to remove as much of the fallen timber as possible this year.

Luss Estates are proud to be the custodians of these islands and look forward to working with SNH to protect them. Inchtavannach and other nearby islands deserve to be treated as some of the most protected countryside in Scotland, as national treasures and designated Nature Reserves. We hope to work with SNH in future towards this end.”

Inchtavannach Island has a number of relevant designations and recognitions including:

  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Special Area of Conservation
  • National Scenic Area
  • National Park
  • Special Protection Area

Contact information

Cat Synnot

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

J&H Communications

James Henderson  +44 (0) 7774 444 163                                  

James Chapman +44 (0) 7714 337 710

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

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