ONE of Scotland’s prime commercial forests boasting grouse and deer shooting zones as well as planning permission for a windfarm has gone on the market for £8.6 million.
Moness Forest Estate, in Perthshire, which includes 2,200 acres of commercial woodland has been put on the market by civil engineering firm I & H Brown which bought the landholding 11 years ago.
The lot is located within Perthshire’s so-called Big Tree Country - which offers some of the most remarkable trees, woodlands and country gardens in Europe.
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Many of the trees date back to the reforestation projects between two and three centuries ago by the so-called 'Planting Dukes of Atholl' who aimed to both improve the land and increase profits derived from it.
Around 27 million conifers were planted on Atholl Estates alone, many of them non-native species gathered from around the globe.
A spokesman for John Clegg and Co and Bidwells which are jointly marketing the wood said: "With its breath-taking scenery and extensive network of walking and riding routes, the area is well also loved by both locals and tourists.
"Not only is this a superb opportunity to own a swathe of one of the country’s most beautiful areas, it is an opportunity for the investor to buy into a much sought after market where demand outstrips supply and where the returns are real."
The Moness Forest can be bought on its own for over £6.8 million, while the 382 acre North Calliachar Forest with wind farm consent is available with offers over £1.4 million. The smaller 91 acre Gatehouse wood is on offer for over £425,000.
Moness Forest Estate, which is adjacent to the existing Calliachar Wind Farm was established as a commercial forest established in the mid-1980s, after previous owners diversified after fallling demand for lamb.
The agents say that moorland management work in the form of heather burning has resulted in a "health assemblage of upland bird species including the iconic red grouse."
Scottish forestry makes major contribution to the country's rural economy with a recent report calculating it provides a £1 billion boost to the conomy annually supporting 25,000 jobs.
And Jon Lambert of John Clegg & Co said there remains a demand for commercial forests.
“Following strong trading in 2014 and 2015, 2016 has seen continued high levels of interest in the commercial forest market place, with Scotland retaining its dominance in the UK commercial forestry sales sector," he said.
"Post Scottish Referendum and Brexit, the sustained market demand for forest properties has been attributed to a combination of increasing capital values and an expectation of medium to long term increases in timber prices.
"This position is set against the relative volatility of the wider investment market place as well as uncertainties surrounding currencies which have seen investors seek 'secure' land-based investments with a traditionally low correlation to other asset classes providing a safe hedge against wider market failure."
The national Scottish forest estate covers, 2510 square miles, equivalent to around 8.2 per cent of Scotland‟s land mass. Scotland created 83 per cent of all new woodland in the UK in 2015-16.