A new custodian is being sought for a leafy estate with forest grown from scratch on the banks of Loch Lomond. 

The Cashel Estate, which has been conserved and nurtured since it was established almost three decades ago, has gone on sale with an asking price of £4m. 

The estate covers 1200 hectares of land north of Balmaha on the east shore of the loch, and has been in the care of the Cashel Forest Trust since it was created from a bracken-strewn wilderness in 1995.  

Cashel contains one of the largest, and oldest, of the ‘new’ native woodlands in Scotland - 300ha of native tree including oak, birch, ash, aspen, alder, gean, hazel, holly, juniper, willow and Scots pine. These stand alongside significant areas of ancient oakwood. 

Montane scrub, a very limited resource in Scotland which offers excellent support for biodiversity, has been planted on parts of the extensive moorland. 

The owners say they are looking for a new steward for the land, which they feel they have ‘taken as far as they can’. 

Loch LomondLoch Lomond (Image: NQ)

The estate includes a visitor centre with education displays, and recent works have involved the rebuilding of a wildlife dipping pond and installation of a viewing hide for red squirrels. 

The Trust has managed the estate for the benefits of conservation, leisure and public access, and it is criss-crossed with five well-used and much-loved walking trails, three of which wheelchair-accessible. 

An occupied farmhouse and the right to launch a boat on the loch are also included in the sale. The sellers say the estate could be developed as a tourist destination with the building of a restaurant or cafe, subject to planning permission.  

Nander Robertson, operations director of Cashel Forest Trust, said: “Evolving forestry policy in the 1980s and 90s had only just begun to recognise the importance of protecting and expanding our native woodland cover.  

“Grant support for the establishment of new native woodlands was a relatively novel concept at the time but Cashel is no longer alone. Since the 1990s a significant number of individuals and organisations have become devoted to the promotion and establishment of native woodlands throughout the UK. 

“We are immensely proud of the woodland we have created at Cashel, transforming it over 25 years from a bracken covered farm into the stunning amenity it is today. This has only been made possible with the unstinting support of volunteers, funders and trustees. 

“However, we feel we have taken it as far as we can. We hope stewardship will pass to a buyer who will be equally passionate about this land and build on the conservation work carried out to date. We are looking for a custodian who will further enhance this legacy and protect it for the future.” 


Additionally, a peatland restoration project has already been carried out on 80 hectares of degraded bog, with a second phase - involving a further 140 hectares - due to start in September. 

The project is expected to generate around 28,000 Pending Issuance Units (PIUs) - carbon credits - which will be issued later this year.  

It is thought there is further potential for peatland restoration and corresponding carbon credits, subject to validation tests. 

A proportion of the revenue generated by a hydroelectricity scheme on the estate is paid to the owner of Cashel. 

The estate is for sale through GOLDCREST Land & Forestry Group for £4,085,000 as a whole or in five lots. 

The estate covers 1200The estate covers 1200 (Image: GOLDCREST)

Jon Lambert, partner of GOLDCREST Land & Forestry Group, said: “Cashel is a breathtaking property with wonderful ancient and native woodlands in a fantastic setting close to the shore of Loch Lomond with fabulous loch views. 

“It is much loved by the local community and there is scope to develop it further as a tourist destination, from a café/restaurant and/or retail offering to glamping opportunities, subject to consents. 

“This is an exceedingly rare and desirable opportunity to purchase a stunning wild estate that has international importance and continue the excellent stewardship shown by Cashel Forest Trust.”