Tycoon’s Fairy Glen getaway purchased by Woodland Trust

The conservation charity has bought the picturesque picnic spot favoured by Andrew Carnegie.

Fairy Glen: The picnic spot was favoured by Andrew Carnegie and his family. WTML
Fairy Glen: The picnic spot was favoured by Andrew Carnegie and his family.

A conservation charity has purchased a picturesque picnic spot favoured by renowned philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

On Friday, Woodland Trust Scotland announced it had bought the Fairy Glen at Spinningdale in Sutherland.

Step back in time: The picturesque picnic spot.

The millionaire industrialist and philanthropist bought the Skibo Estate, and its Ledmore and Migdale woods in 1897 and would return with his family to spend summer holidays until the outbreak of the First World War.

The Carnegies named their favourite woodland walk and picnic spot “The Fairy Glen” and in 1907 opened it to the public.

Woodland: The carved stone was unearthed last week.

A carved stone marking the occasion was uncovered by Woodland Trust Scotland volunteers Jim and Saddhavati Mohahan, and site manager Ross Watson last week. 

It had become overgrown with moss and grass.

The glen has a path through it today, but once had a more elaborate route through it which included nine wooden footbridges across the burn.

Magical: One route featured nine wooden footbridges across the burn.

Woodland Trust Scotland purchased Ledmore and Midgale in 1993.  

At nearly 700 hectares it is one of the trust’s largest sites, and its most northerly wood in the UK. 

The 2.5ha Fairy Glen remained in private ownership until this week’s completed purchase.

Scenic: The glen in Sutherland.

Woodland Trust Scotland site manager Ross Watson said: “This is a beautiful little glen with a charming burn tumbling through oakwoods dripping with mosses and ferns. 

“It would be a lovely addition to Ledmore and Migdale on its woodland merits alone, but the Carnegie connection makes it all the more fitting. 

“We are extremely grateful for the support of The Carman Family Foundation which enabled us to acquire this site.”

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