And finally…Dane on verge of becoming Scotland’s biggest landowner
A Danish billionaire is homing in on the Duke of Buccleuch to become Scotland’s biggest private landowner after his latest £8 million double estate swoop.
Already firmly established as second on the list of Scotland’s largest landowners, 44 year-old clothing magnate Anders Holch Povlsen now owns more than 200,000 acres of the country.
The Duke of Buccleuch has 240,000 acres – and it is believed he is looking to reduce the size of his estate.
The rise to almost the top of Scotland’s land owner league of Mr Povlsen, who now owns more land than the Queen, comes only a decade after making his first purchase.
The most recent additions to his burgeoning portfolio of 11 estates are two more in Sutherland – where he already owns three - at a total cost of £8 million.
The man said by Forbes to be worth nearly £4.5 billion bought the 21,034-acre Strathmore Estate at Altnaharra from Jock and Heather Gow for around £6 million and 6,242-acre Polla Estate near Durness in Sutherland from Charles Marsham.
The £2 million Polla deal – adjacent to Loch Eriboll, at its south-west end – also includes 375 acres of forestry.
It means Mr Povlsen, who enjoys walking and hunting and visits Scotland every six weeks, now controls a huge swathe of adjoining – or near neighbouring – land.
His Scottish conservation company, Wildland Limited, already owns the 24,000-acre Ben Loyal, the 23,000-acre Ben Hope and the 18,000-acre Kinloch estates near Tongue.
The Dane also struck a deal with Forestry Commission Scotland that involved him buying 1,000 acres in the Borders to swap for Highland woodland near to one of his estates.
It is believed Wildland Ltd has now invested around £100million in Scottish estates and land.
Father-of-four Mr Povlsen’s clothing company Bestseller employs more than 12,000 people and works with supermodels such as Helena Christensen, Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer.
Critics say just 432 individuals like Mr Povlsen own more than half of Scotland’s non-public land.
The billionaire has also given a £200,000 “gift” to help restore one of the most iconic ruins in the Far North.
Castle Varrich overlooks both the Kyle of Tongue and the nearby village. Mr Povlsen is personally paying £200,000 of the restoration bill, with Historic Scotland contributing the remaining £70,000.