Hollywood A-listers warned about ‘plots of Highland land’ in Oscars goody bags


Hollywood A-listers have been given a warning about the plots of Highland land they will get in their goody bags at tomorrow’s Oscars.

King Richard star Will Smith, Spencer actress Kristen Stewart and Being the Ricardos’ Nicole Kidman are among nominees who will receive a £76,000 freebie.

A luxury item in the goody bag from Guernsey-registered firm Highland Titles claims recipients will receive Highland land.

The plots, which costs £150 per 100sqft, also include permission to use the title “Laird” or “Lady of Glencoe ” and celebrities can visit whenever they choose.

But land reform expert and former Green MSP Andy Wightman has written to the stars to warn them they will not be an official “laird or lady” – despite the title bestowed on them.

He also claims they have no legal right to the plots, as they have not been transferred to them through the official Scottish land register.

Wightman told the stars: “You have a piece of paper (several probably) with impressive-sounding claims and illustrations. However, they remain just pieces of paper and provide you with nothing more than that.”

The swag bags will be given to Academy Award nominees by Los Angeles marketing firm Distinctive Assets.

They reportedly include access to liposuction, gold-infused extra virgin olive oil and a stay at the five-star Turin Castle in Forfar, complete with butler service and a bagpipe
ceremony.

The treats are given to Oscar nominees, who include Steven Spielberg, Benedict Cumberbatch, Denzel Washington, Judi Dench, Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman and Penélope Cruz.



EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 17: Scottish writer Andy Wightman attends a photocall at Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 17, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)

Highland Titles’ website offers souvenir plots ranging from one square foot to 100, as well as the offer of becoming “Lord, Laird or Lady of Glencoe.”

But a newspaper investigation in 2015 found the Government agency responsible for keeping records of land ownership denied any land changes hands in the so-called “souvenir plot” deals.

The head of legal services at Registers of Scotland said at the time: “Land can only be registered on the Land Register if it meets certain requirements.

“This means it is not possible to register a plot of land which is of inconsiderable size and no practical utility.”

Wightman told Oscar nominees: “I understand you have received a gift pack that contains a purported gift of a plot of land (perhaps just a square foot) in Scotland from a company called Highland Titles and the right to be styled Lord or Lady of Glencoe .”

Referring to the law, he wrote: “You are not the owner of any land in Scotland despite what this company might have led you to believe.

“You have also not been given any right to style yourself Lord or Lady of Glencoe. Highland Titles has no authority or power to bestow such a title on you.”



Highland Titles' website offers souvenir plots ranging from one square foot to 100
Highland Titles’ website offers souvenir plots ranging from one square foot to 100

The Highland Titles website lists a postal address in the Highland village of Roybridge and a registered office in Guernsey.

The company has five nature reserves and was founded by retired zoologist Dr Peter Bevis.

Director Douglas Wilson said: “We’ve been selling gift-sized souvenir plots of land for 15 years.

“Our customers obtain a personal right to their souvenir plot of land, which is a valid form of ownership that can be passed on to future generations.

“This is not disputed by anyone except Mr Wightman.”

He added: “We make it very clear on our website that we cannot bestow titles on anyone.”

Distinctive Assets was contacted for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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