SNH apologises for killing 300 beech trees on Inchtavannach Island

Inchtavannach Island treesScottish Natural Heritage will now pay to remove the fallen trees.
Picture by Mary Jack

The Colquhouns of Luss have won yet another battle on Loch Lomondside. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has apologised to the ancient clan for killing more than 300 mature beech trees on an island in Loch Lomond.

SNH said it should have consulted Inchtavannach island’s owners before poisoning the beech trees with a chemical injection.

The Colquhoun Clan motto is Si Je Puis, which translates from the French to If I Can, which is exactly what the SRH forgot to ask before they went ahead with the job.

SNH had agreed a “selective felling” of non-native trees on the island in 2013, but did not tell Luss Estates about the change of plan.  It will now have to pay to remove the fallen trees.


Victory celebrations on Loch Lomondside at the Luss Highland Gathering.

Luss Estates previously said the island was left looking like a “wasteland” and accused SNH of creating a “major eyesore in one of Scotland’s foremost beauty spots”.

The two parties have now reached an agreement in the long-running dispute. The Colquhouns have history on their side when it comes to battles having beaten the MacFarlane’s at the infamous Battle of Glen Fruin.

SNH’s David Maclennan said that Luss Estates had been party to the original management agreement in 2013 over the removal of rhododendron and the selective felling of non-native species over a five-year period.

However, he said: “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.”

Mr McLennan said that SNH should have ensured that Luss Estates was informed of and consented to the proposed operations.

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.”


The Colquhouns of Luss on the march before the Highland gathering in the village. Picture by Bill Heaney


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