Our Work

The Glencoe Heritage Trust undertakes to work with the local community, and other interested parties who share the same views in protecting Glencoe for the future.
Much of the trust’s work is carried out by volunteers who kindly give of their time and expertise, however there are costs involved in other areas of the Trust’s work that does require financial assistance.

The Land – Managing and Maintaining

When the land was purchased in 2002, considerable time has been spent over the years removing broken railings, cutting scrub, and enhancing the river bank, all with the help of local people.

One of the biggest challenges is the safe removal of ancient trees which have been scanned, and deemed dangerous by tree experts who advise of their immediate removal; the trust has to comply with stringent rules to carry out these activities. Depending on the location of the trees, safe removal can incur considerable cost.

Once these trees are felled, they are cut into logs and distributed.

We are pleased to confirm that new trees are planted in various locations on the Heritage Trust Land, the latest trees – 4 Rowan Trees were planted just behind the Bridge of Coe.

The River Coe

The River Coe is a naturally beautiful river running along a stretch which encompasses eight named pools.  Starting at the river mouth extending for 1 mile on the South bank and 1.5 miles on the North this includes Falls – now known as Kilday Falls after Mr and Mrs Rod Kilday – Rod’s family came from Glencoe and was instrumental in helping with the purchase of the River and the lands.  The “Sea pool/tidal Pool” at the lower stretch of the river to “Thy Dyke Pool” on the upper reaches. Sea Otters come into the bottom pool, red and roe deer cross the water into the lower village and now even a Sea Eagle makes a visit on occasion.

The Trust pays an annual amount to The Lochaber District Salmon Fisheries Board and works closely with the Fisheries Board to monitor and increase salmon numbers, local resident David Gunn who acts as the Bailiff has a wealth of knowledge on the River and Glencoe having spent his life growing up in Glencoe. The Glencoe Angling Club which comprises approximately 8 local members return any fish caught back to the river in order to preserve stocks.  It must be noted that the GHT do not exercise their netting rights on Loch Leven, which constitutes a loss of revenue, however it is more important that salmon are encouraged to return to the river to their natural spawning ground.

The Glencoe Memorial Massacre Cross

Another area maintained by the Trust is the Massacre Memorial Cross and surrounding area. The Memorial Cross is located in Upper Carnoch, Glencoe.

The annual Massacre Memorial Service takes place annually on 13th February to remember the Massacre which took place in 1692 – 39 Clans folk were slaughtered by the Campbells.  A service in St Mary’s Church is then followed by a walk to the Cross, a Piper leads the walk through the village upto the Cross, a service is carried out and the laying of wreaths is carried out. Throughout the rest of the year whatever the weather many people will visit this site to pay their respects, it is important that it is well maintained, The GHT funds the upkeep of this most sacred site, the upkeep involves weeding, clearing scrub, re-painting the Heraldic coat of arms, as well as perimeter gates, railings and the bench being repainted.

Eilean Munde – The Burial Island, Loch Leven

Eilean Munde is an Island located on Loch Leven, it is one of the most sacred, natural and beautiful burial sites to be found. Access is only by boat, there is not a designated landing, instead there is an area of natural rock that only an experienced boat person could nativigate a safe landing. The Island is home to over 300 graves from many clans. There is an ancient ruin of a 14th Century Chapel on the Island.

Alexander MacDonald – son of Alistair MacDonald spent many painstaking hours producing a booklet which records all of the grave inscriptions – which is available for sale – please e-mail the Secretary for further information. The trust also undertakes grass strimming and general tidying around the graves on Eilean Munde.

The island is one month ahead of the mainland in terms of vegetation growth, and cannot sustain being strimmed too regularly due to the natural habitat of some species of wild flowers and ground nesting birds. The work is obviously weather dependant upon a boat being able to land safely, availability of a boat and volunteers to carry out the work. Expenses for fuel and assistance is paid by The Trust.

Common Grazings – located on the lower part of Pap of Glencoe

The lower part of the Pap of Glencoe forms part of the common grazings to the local crofting township and is currently grazed with sheep and cattle, it is approximately 100 acres.  The Pap of Glencoe is also home to a wide range of wild plants including: Common Butterwort, Pale Butterwort, Milkwort-deep blue, St John’s wort, Roundleaved Sundew, Saxifrage, Heath Spotted Orchid, Heath Bedstraw, Tormentil, Self Heal, White-Beaked sedge, with many more sedges & mosses.

The Old Mill – located on the lower part of Pap of Glencoe

The ruins of the 18th Century Corn Mill was the former Mill of Glencoe, the stone features can still be seen. The former Miller is buried on the Burial Island.

The Glencoe Heritage Trust Office – Glencoe Village

When the Heritage Trust was formed in 2002 by Alistair and Rosalin MacDonald, it quickly became obvious that their cottage was too small to cope with visitors and the day to day running of the Trust, it was fortunate that at the side of their cottage was an old barn which their son Alexander refurbished and made into an office where visitors and the running of the Trust could take place. The office has welcomed many visitors over the years from those looking to trace their ancestry, look through old photographs and records, meetings, pipe band members, film crews – it was in 2019 that Outlander Clan Lands actors Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish visited whilst filming in the area.

The Heritage Trust re-introduced the local children’s Halloween Party and formed an annual Flower Show in the village, both events are still run to-day by parents and volunteers.

The Chair and Secretary’s Work

Day to day work involves answering e-mails, phone calls and letters regarding ancestry enquiries, pre-arranged visits to the office, receipt of donations, issuing receipts, sending out Burial Island Inscriptions List, Brochures, liasing on a regular basis with Clan Societies from across the world, payment of invoices, reconciliation of Paypal, collating annual accounts which as part of being a SCIO have to be audited by an accountant on an annual basis, liasing with the other Trustees, the Angling Club, Highland Council, Crofting Township, Historic Environment Scotland, Forestery Scotland, receiving notifications from the Crofting Commission regarding changes to crofts in the Township, enquiries from Film Crews regarding permission to film on Heritage Trust land, organising an AGM and subsequent reports which have to be submitted along with the annual accounts to OSCR (Office of Scottish Charity Register). Dealing with damage to property, fallen trees, co-ordinating work parties to deal with trees, clear scrub, gardening work at the Burial Cross and strimming of Burial Island, re-planting of trees. The Trust undertakes the organisation of the annual Massacre Memorial Service, along with Clan Donald Highlands & Islands, arranging the Piper, the Heritage Trust’s wreath, liasing with the press. During normal times, events such as pipe bands will come to visit Glencoe, the Trust organises such visits. The Trust’s website, www.glencoe-heritage-trust.com, requires regular updates, the Trust’s facebook page now has over 28,000 followers and adds posts and drone footage on a regular basis promoting the magical scenery of Glencoe and the work of the Heritage Trust.

Trustees are as follows:
Elaine MacDonald-Coulter - Chair
Rosalin MacDonald- Secretary
John Roy
George Grant
Ryan Littrell
James Young
Peter Watt