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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question in the FAQs, please contact us and we will be happy to reply.

We often get asked questions that we have already answered for other supporters, so the most common ones are published below.

My payment did not go through. How can I pay?

Please contact us to arrange payment.

Who is running this project?

Wildcat Haven is managed and delivered by a team of experienced conservation, ecology, veterinary and educational experts dedicated to protecting the Scottish wildcat. To achieve this, they have partnered with Wildcat Haven Enterprises C.I.C., a Community Interest Company registered in England, No. 09664321. Incorporation as a CIC  protects the assets of the organisation. The principal feature of a CIC is that it contains a legal asset lock. This prevents profits being distributed to members or shareholders other than in certain circumstances. A C.I.C. is obliged to pursue the community interest and must report on how it does this to the CIC Regulator.

Can I change my bank account, credit cards etc?

Many of our customers decide to ask their bank to add their new title to their bank account and their credit cards. We include in each gift pack the Master Title Deed, accepted in many jurisdictions internationally which recognise Deed Poll documents. The Master Title Deed may be used to confirm your new title to your bank and even government agencies. Where local law permits, this will enable you to change the title on documents to Laird, Lord or Lady.

Please note that government documents which do not display any title, such as all passports and in some jurisdictions your drivers licence, cannot be changed.

What is a Master Title Deed?

The Master Title Deed operates as a Deed Poll. Deed Polls is rely on a person’s right to adopt the identity of their choice and asserts their intention to do so. The Master Title deed thus gives effect to a person’s right to adopt a title that they have decided to use and asserts their intention to do so. Owners of a small Scottish estate have every right to adopt the title of Laird (Lord) or Lady. The Master Title Deed gives effect to your choice.

Are there any hidden charges, taxes, or future payments to make?

No. There are no land taxes in Scotland and absolutely no other costs associated with buying or owning this land. We maintain public liability insurance over the entire wood which will continue in force after your purchase. You will have no further expense to pay after the initial purchase price.

Must I register my land?

No. We will send you a Certificate of Sale, which is a Scottish legal document called a “Disposition”. This is a formal (and rather attractive) document transferring ownership, or “title”, to the land which we print on parchment for you to display. Once we accept your payment, you have a personal right against us as the seller. Ownership of the property, however, which is a real right, (ie a right in the land) does not pass to the purchaser until the disposition is registered in the Register of Sasines or Land Register of Scotland.

Unfortunately you cannot register your land, because this is a such a small plot; specifically it is defined as a “souvenir plot”. A souvenir plot is defined in the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 as “a piece of land which, being of inconsiderable size or no practical utility, is unlikely to be wanted in isolation except for the sake of mere ownership or for sentimental reasons or commemorative purposes”. This inability to register the land does not prevent us selling a plot to you which you can in turn sell on to another party, or gift to your heirs in due course.

Can you tell me about the law governing souvenir land sales in Scotland?

Selling souvenir plots of land has been a simple, legal process in Britain for at least fifty years, endorsed and popularised by the highest in the land.

Her Majesty’s Solicitor General for England and Wales in 1971 was Sir Geoffrey Howe, Queen’s Counsel, Member of the United Kingdom Parliament and an Officer of the Crown He praised the potential benefits of selling souvenir plots for fundraising in a parliamentary speech in the following terms “it helps the balance of payments and it gladdens the hearts of our continental cousins and enables them to obtain a splendidly medieval looking deed of title, which, no doubt, they display at some appropriate place in their homes.”   He welcomed the fact that anyone might “purchase a ‘square foot of Old England’ for a comparatively modest sum”. He brought out the lighthearted nature of the sale by explaining that people might use their plots for “pole squatting” or flying an American flag. However he also expressed concerns about the burden that registering these titles would impose on the Land Registry. He anticipated that many millions of plots might be sold and registering them might in turn impose a considerable burden on the registration process.

A few years later, the law in Scotland was similarly updated, leaning heavily of the English definition of a souvenir plot and similarly exempting the sale of souvenir plots from the burden of registration, in order to lessen the Registrar’s workload. Considering the low value of the sale of souvenir plots and the considerable benefits of permitting the trade, this exemption was probably reasonable.

As the Scottish Law Commission wrote in 2005, in the Discussion Paper on Land Registration: Registration, Rectification and Indemnity:

Discussion Paper on Land Registration: Registration, Rectification and Indemnity

Discussion Paper on Land Registration: Registration, Rectification and Indemnity, 2005

Since then, the law in England has changed. In England, Schedule 13 of the Land Registration Act 2002 brought souvenir plots into the land registration system by repealing the 1971 Act. Now ownership of souvenir plots in England can only be acquired through registration.

But unlike in England, when Scotland updated its Land Registration law (Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012) Scotland chose to leave its law on the sale of souvenir land substantially unchanged. Although a right of ownership in land (in the sense of a right that is enforceable against third parties) can traditionally only be obtained by registration in the Land Register or by recording a deed in the Register of Sasines as appropriate, under Scottish law these small plots of land can be sold without the expense of registration which might otherwise make this uneconomical.

As suggested by the Solicitor-General, Wildcat Haven will supply you with a “splendidly medieval looking deed of title, which, no doubt, [you can] display at some appropriate place in [your] home”, known as a “Disposition”,  plus a Plot ID card and information about our project in a beautiful gift pack – which confirms that ownership has been transferred to you.

Scottish law of property is complex. Our sales are made with the advice of our Scottish solicitors, J. & H. Mitchell W.S. of Pitlochry, Perthshire, whose Legal Advice has ensured that the land is legally transferred to you.

Can you tell me about the Wildcat Haven Tartan?

As Laird (Lord) or Lady of Wildernesse, you will also be entitled to wear the Wildcat Haven Tartan.This has been specially created for us by tartan designer Glen Allardyce and is registered at The Scottish Register of Tartans for exclusive use by the Lairds of Wildernesse.

 Designed to celebrate the native Scottish Wildcat. The sales of the tartan are intended to benefit habitat reservation and conservation efforts to help preserve the cats.

Designed to celebrate the native Scottish Wildcat. The sales of the tartan are intended to benefit habitat reservation and conservation efforts to help preserve the cats.

What can I do with the land?

As the new owner, you can come and visit; take a walk in Wildernesse Wood, take a photograph of your Estate, and picnic by the loch. You will be able to enjoy bird watching, fungi spotting, country pursuits and lots of tranquility. You are welcome to plant a tree or scatter Ashes.

The land is zoned as woodland so no development is permitted.

How large are the plots?

One square foot (30cm x 30cm)

How will I know which plot is mine?

In order to identify your plot we need to be able to define its location precisely. We do this by providing you with the exact location, using the UK Ordnance Survey reference system. The location of each plot is unique. Even using a professional surveyor it may be impossible to precisely locate such a small plot on the ground – yet. GPS accuracy continues to improve.  We also provide you with an estimate of the latitude and longitude of your plot to help you locate it with GPS systems that do not use the OS system such as Google maps, the iPhone and many inexpensive GPS devices whose primary purpose is car travel. Using such familiar items you will be able to reach the general area of your plot.

To view your plot on a map, we recommend Grid Reference Finder

To demonstrate on Plot W667, the OS co-ordinates are 2190367    8058000

By removing the seventh digit from each group (7 and 0), this particular OS reference translates to X Easting 219036  and Y Northing 805800  (the highest precision that this website uses).  Enter in the appropriate boxes on the web site and press “Go” to produce your map below.

Location of Plot W6672190367 8058000

Location of Plot W667 2190367 8058000

Use the plus and minus buttons on the left hand side to zoom in or out to get a clearer view of your plot.

The physical location of each plot is not marked on the ground, though we do not object to you marking it once you have found it. We believe that a wood carpeted with thousands of marker poles would be unattractive, even if practical. Several plot owners have placed memorial stones, cairns or flags on their plots and this is every landowner’s right.

How will other people know which plot is mine?

In order to legally transfer your personal right to the plot we need to be able to identify you. Should you ever purchase registrable land in Scotland your solicitor will require that you identify yourself with a photo ID such as a passport and proofs of your address. We are pleased to say that no such formal requirements exist for the sale of souvenir plots!

The purchaser of the plot provides their full name and address plus an email address where we can contact you. We issue the legal documents in the name you provide to us, care of our office, and should we need to contact the new owner, we will do it through you. WH_Plot_CardPrima facie proof of ownership thereafter will reside in possession of the plastic card (Plot Card) that is issued with your documents. Please keep it safe. If anyone uses your land with your permission, please provide them with your card, which they may be required to show to one of our wardens. If you intend to gift, sell or leave the land to anyone, please also transfer possession of the Plot Card.

Can I purchase a plot for someone other than me?

Absolutely. When you place your order you will be required to enter the name of the new landowner. This can be any name that you like.

If you would like a message enclosed to the new Laird/Lady/Lord and the pack shipped directly to them, then this is all part of the service, as is customising the deeds with a special date i.e. a birthday or anniversary.

Can I use my title for anything and in any situation?

You may use your title at any time except for any illegal purpose – such as to commit fraud, or obtain money by deception.

Can I leave my land to anyone?

Your land and title can be left to anybody through your Will upon your death or even sold to someone else if you wish to sell the land; after all, it is yours.

There are two covenants on the land. One prevents shooting and the second prevents your Estate from being subdivided.

Can I purchase several plots next to each other?

Yes. As long as the plots are the same size, then all the plots you order at the same time will be next to each other. Any plots ordered later may be part of a different block, though they will be close by.

How will my personal message be added to the documents?

If you purchase a plot of land from us we will happily add your personal message into the sealed pack at no additional charge. Your gift message will be printed on the bottom of the welcome letter where the recipient cannot fail to read it.

You will be prompted to provide a free personal message for each person at the bottom of the page where you enter your delivery address.

Personal messages are not available to add to accessories when purchased without a land plot.

Can I buy one plot with two names?

Each plot can be owned by one person only. If you need to buy for a couple, please purchase two single packs.

If you add more than one name in error, we will assume that the plot should be registered in the first name.

I want the documents to have a special date. Will you still send it now?

Yes, whatever date you ask to be used on the documentation, we will still mail your pack without delay, unless instructed otherwise.

Is the frame in the photograph included?

No, this is shown to demonstrate that the Deed may be displayed in a frame.

What does the Gift Wrap service provide?

The gift packaging comprises a scarlet red paper, hand wrapped around the pack, with a length of gold ribbon folded around the package and sealed with a Wildcat Haven Seal.

This is then covered with a plastic film to protect the gift wrap in transit and a label is attached to this outer covering to confirm the details of the recipient.

Can I visit my land?

Yes, it is yours after all!

We provide you with a map, map reference and full instructions on how to visit Wildcat Haven, Mountainview and your piece of Wildernesse Wood. Park your car and Wildernesse Wood is a short walk along a forest track with magnificent views along Loch Loyne.

Now I’m a Laird. Does that make my wife a Lady?

Only in your eyes.

The Title of Laird is a descriptive title which pertains to the owner of a Scottish Estate. The title Laird of Wildernesse may only be used with our permission. Your Spouse or children should purchase their own piece of Scotland.

Who is Lord Lyon?

The Lord Lyon is a Scottish Episcopal Church Priest and former city councillor The Rev Canon Dr Joseph Morrow, Chancellor of the Diocese of Brechin, Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee and Chaplain of Glamis Castle.

He is in addition the president of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, president of the Additional Support Needs Tribunals and a first-tier tribunal judge dealing with asylum and immigration issues.He is also the Dundee council convener of development with membership of both Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Angus and Dundee Tourist boards. In his spare time, he chairs the Dundee Waterfront Development Board and the Trustees of the Tayside Superannuation Fund, and is vice-chairman of the Court of the University of Abertay.

Dr Morrow has an interest in ecclesiastical history and more than 30 years’ experience of the application of the ceremonial within a variety of settings including State, Civil, Military and Ecclesiastical areas. His part-time appointment as Lord Lyon was made on the advice of Alex Salmond, the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament.

This is what the Scottish Government web site says about his office “The Court of the Lord Lyon”:

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Court of the Lord Lyon

Court of the Lord Lyon
HM New Register House
Edinburgh EH1 3YT

The Lord Lyon King of Arms has jurisdiction, subject to appeal to the Court of Session and the House of Lords, on questions of heraldry and the right to bear Arms. The Court administers the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and the Public Register of All Genealogies and Birthbrieves in Scotland. The Lord Lyon, in his administrative capacity, grants Patents of Arms and, in his judicial role, authorises the Matriculation of existing Armorial Bearings. No Armorial Bearings may be used in Scotland unless they are on record in the Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The Lord Lyon may grant Arms to Scotsmen and women at home and abroad.

The Court does not undertake genealogical research, as the result of such research may be incorporated in a Petition to the Lord Lyon.

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The Lord Lyon has no official governance of the sale of land or the adoption of the style of Laird by the new owner, though this is a not uncommon misconception.

How can you sell me a title?

We cannot sell you a title. We are simply acknowledging your right to use the title of Laird, Lord or Lady of Wildernesse. If you prefer not to assume a title, you will be given that option when you make your land purchase. The advice of Scottish Solicitors, Halliday Campbell is “in Scotland anyone can, subject to requirements of good faith, call themselves whatever they like, including “Laird”, “Lord” or “Lady“.” We do not know of any jurisdiction where this is not true.

What if I get married/change my name

If you change your name, for example you marry, the documents can be reissued in your new name. This can be ordered from our Accessories page for a small sum to cover postage and the cost of printing the documents.

Is there an age limit?

We are happy to provide a Certificate of Sale to anyone of any age! Some of our customers are still unborn. This is a very popular Christening gift, so you may order for anyone of any age with confidence.

What is your phone number?

For customers living in the United Kingdom we offer a free 0800 number (: 0800 088 5446) or you can dial our local number  01687 347734

From USA please call Toll Free 1-877 753 3146

From Australia please call Toll Free: 1-800-339 802

From other countries please call: + 44 1687 347734

Please remember that the time in the UK might be different to your time.

Every country has a different way of dialling an international number. In USA it is 011 In UK it is 00 In Australia it is 0011. This is represented as a + Then every country is represented with a number. USA is 1, UK is 44 and Australia is 61. So when we put our phone number on our web site, for anyone in the world to call, it is difficult. The convention, which we follow, is to display it as + 44 (0) 1687 347734. From USA, you would call 00 to get out of the country (that’s the + Then 44 to get to UK. Then 1687 347734. But from the UK you could call either 011 (that’s the +) then 44 to stay in UK, then 1687 347734. Or you could simply call 01687 347734. It may not be perfect. It assumes that our customers know about international dialling. But we can’t think of a better way of showing our phone numbers when most of our customers live all around the world.