A national conservation charity has been gifted £2.4 million to support its work protecting Scotland’s heritage – one of the largest sums it has received from a donor since it was founded more than 92 years ago.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) received the sum from a mystery donor in recognition of its recent work to restore Barry Mill in Angus, one of only a small number of mills left in the country which were powered by water.

Work is already well underway to bring the building back into use and visitors will soon be able to survey the renewed structure when the attraction reopens to the public on March 21.

Historical records show there has been a mill on the site since at least 1539, though it ceased milling oatmeal and animal feeds by 1982. It was rebuilt after a fire around 1814 and was the last water-powered mill to have worked in Angus.

The anonymous donor made their contribution to the NTS after they visited the mill earlier this year and was impressed by the work already carried out to improve its structure and the knowledge of the team behind the restoration.

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NTS chief executive Philip Long said: “All at our charity are incredibly grateful for this wonderful, generous gift which is so vital as we work to protect and share Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage.

“It is especially heartening that it was the powerful combination of our special places and people which inspired this substantial signal of support.”

The gift comes during a record year for donations to the conservation charity, with more than £10.8 million raised so far in 2023.

Mr Long continued: “During this festive season, we want to say thank-you to everyone who has supported our charity in 2023.

“Whether responding to our appeals for seabirds or for footpaths, playing our lottery, dedicating a tree, or leaving a gift to the National Trust for Scotland in your will, every contribution, large and small, is appreciated, and together with the support of our loyal members, enables our charity to continue conserving and protecting Scotland’s heritage for everyone to enjoy.”