Picture Gallery: Scratby man is Laird of the land in Scotland

IT is a landscape barely touched by modern man; a haven of rich grasslands and secluded woodlands on the southern shores of Loch Linnhe.

And for the past three years, this gem in Scotland’s crown has belonged to a man from Norfolk who presides over his estate as the Laird of Keil.

Roy Woods, of Scratby near Great Yarmouth, parted with more than �10,000 to secure the Keil View Estate in 2007 after falling in love with the area whilst holidaying in western Scotland.

But as well as acquiring the abundance of trees and carpets of wild flowers, Mr Woods also registered for the aristocratic Scottish title of the Laird of Keil - available only to Scottish landowners.

He said his decision to buy the land spawned from his love of nature and his desire to protect the thriving natural habitat so campers and ramblers could enjoy it for years to come.

“It all started when we took our touring caravan to Loch Lomond in Scotland,” he said.

“I felt like I had been to the area before - I felt at peace there. That is what inspired me to do it. For me, buying the land was an investment which allowed me to protect the beauty of the highlands for others. “There are strict rules in Scotland, so I could not, for example, build a town there.

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“I have decided to leave it all natural so the deer can roam free and the woodland flowers can grow. I think that is a good thing to do.”

Despite his drive to protect the area, the 63-year-old only visits the estate every few months because the majority of his time is spent in Norfolk.

Meanwhile, the upkeep for the site continues to be carried out in his absence by the Woodland Trust.

Mr Woods, who has seven children, 23 grandchildren and seven great-grand children, also saw titles bestowed upon his loved ones.

His wife Susan became Lady of Keil, his eldest daughter, Sharon Woods, became Maid of Keil, whilst his eldest son Darren, who will one day become Laird himself, was made Younger of Keil.

“Its location, looking out across the loch, makes it appear absolutely beautiful on a summer’s day; it is just how nature intended,” he continued.

“If circumstances change in the future then we may move up to Scotland to be closer to the area.”

The retired Aldreds estate agent holds the highlands close to his heart after tracing his Scottish ancestry as far back as 1654.

The Keil View Estate is situated in Argyll, Scotland, and holds five types of tree, wild strawberries, red deer, red squirrels and blue bells.