Assynt Foundation

Home of Glencanisp Lodge

The Assynt Foundation

The Assynt Foundation was established in advance of the landmark community land buy-out of the Glencanisp and Drumrunie Estates, in the parish of Assynt in the North-West Highlands of Scotland.

In June 2005, the community of Assynt bought these estates, 44,400 acres of stunningly beautiful natural land, from the Vestey family, under provisions of the 2003 Scottish Land Reform Act. 

Assynt Foundation Ltd is a registered Scottish Charity, number SC036540, and a registered company, number SC272665.  Its trading subsidiary Assynt.Biz Ltd is a registered company, number SC282282. Both companies' registered office is: The Office, Glencanisp, Lochinver, Sutherland IV27 4LW.
Annual General Meeting:  Assynt Foundation members and others are welcome to attend our twelfth AGM at Lochinver Village Hall, 7pm Wedneday 14th June 2017.  The accounts to be considered at the AGM can be viewed via the link here.

Aims and Objectives

The Assynt Foundation is committed to its aims and objectives as stated in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, which include:-
  • To manage community land and associated assets for the benefit of the community and the public in general, as an important part of the protection and sustainable development of Scotland’s natural environment.
  • To advance the education of the community and the public in general about the environment, culture and/or history of the land.
  • To ensure the sustainability of our community, which is under threat from serious socio-economic problems.
  • To safeguard the natural and cultural heritage of the land for future generations.
Through creative and sensitive uses of the estates and their assets, the Assynt Foundation aims to create new employment, enterprise and housing opportunities in order to create a more diverse economy and encourage young people to stay in Assynt.

Croft Creation
Progress is now being made on our long-term aim of creating crofts.  Three areas on Glencanisp Estate and one on Drumrunie Estate have been identified as suitable for a number of crofts.  The crofts are intended to be life-long, heritable tenancies with no automatic right to buy or assign, all with a residency requirement that tenants must live within 20 miles of the croft.

The Way Forward


The responsibility that goes with the ownership of such a special area of land is enormous. The Board of Assynt Foundation and the staff who work for them are totally committed to ensuring a long term management solution that will secure financial stability, enabling all the primary objectives to be met.


The new Business Plan includes imaginative plans to welcome visitors to the Estates. Glencanisp Lodge will be adapted to be much more flexible in occupancy, welcoming small and large parties to stay. In addition, opportunities to enjoy camping, gypsy caravans, shepherd’s huts and other outdoor accommodation are being taken forward.


Special events, the development of the Artist’s Studio and the creation of an Artist in Residence Programme are all part of our long term vision. Deer stalking has been the major part of past management practices. Whilst we have a duty to continue to manage the deer population within our local Deer Management Group, we are also keen to take interested visitors on guided trips into the wilderness to truly appreciate this unique environment. Furthermore, we have constructed a number of specially sited bird hides which will allow the enjoyment and photography of rare bird species in a manner that will not disturb the wildlife.  The Welcome sign is there for all to see.


From modest beginnings, our Honesty Shop at Glencanisp Lodge is there to provide refreshments 24 hours of the day to the many visitors passing through on their way to Suilven, Canisp and the remainder of the estate. Locals who enjoy a shorter walk or bike ride will also be able to pop in for a hot or cold drink, ice creams, chocolates and freshly made local cakes and frozen food. We want to trust our visitors, and believe that this trust will be repaid.


There are so many other exciting opportunities to pursue. All of the above ideas require the finance to enable them to be done well. Opportunities to develop hydro schemes on the Foundation’s land are being actively taken forward, with great care to ensure that the environment is respected and preserved. As well as providing essential annual income, the principle of producing renewable energy for use locally is one we are committed to.


Invitation for application for a Suilven Artist Residency

The Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership CALLP, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, in association with the Assynt Foundation, is issuing this open invitation for expressions of interest to apply for an Art Residency to focus on Suilven, a mountain of distinctive shape and character, and one that is ranked among the most iconic in Scotland. Suilven dominates much of Assynt Foundation’s 44,000 acres of community owned land.

Major work has been funded by CALLP to improve and conserve the footpath providing access to the summit of Suilven. The recent and previous human interventions raise many questions and issues of significance for artistic exploration, and creative expression across a broad spectrum of perspectives and disciplines. But there is more to Suilven than the footpath and human interventions, and we are open to proposals that address whatever artists wish to express by whatever form of creative endeavour.

Click here for some images of Suilven

More can be found and information provided on both the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership, and the Assynt Foundation by following the links below.

Chris Puddephat:

Also for CALL:

Assynt Foundation:

North West Geo Park:


The Assynt Foundation (AF) is managing this project as a partner with CALLP. The key outputs required by the funders are;

    1. Creation of a piece of work of artistic value and relevance concerning Suilven.
    2. Two open workshops to explore with participants the process and reasoning behind the art work to be produced.
    3. Two School Visits of children from local schools. The organising of these events will be undertaken by staff employed by CALL. This limits the role of the resident to engaging with the children to talk about their project and this aids the interpretation of its significance.

The outline programme for linked residency activity in 2019 is likely to be;

Initial visit by chosen artist during May within main period of residency in June. The visit in May will ideally coincide with a special event to celebrate the completion of the Suilven footpath restoration. This will provide a good opportunity to meet a wide range of people with close connection with Suilven. The workshops with local schools are likely to be held in June. If it proves impossible to hold these in June they will be re-scheduled for late August/September. Arrangements for these workshops will be undertaken in collaboration with the CALLP education and events staff. The other workshops for local community and visitors will be arranged by agreement for either June or later in the summer.


The expectation is that the successful applicant/s will spend time in Assynt during the months of June – October, with completion of the required work by the end of September. Also that successful applicant/s will undertake a research and development period ultimately leading up to concept design and creation. We are looking for this to involve engagement with others involved with the geology, conservation and wild life on Assynt and surrounding land. (Geo Park, Rangers, Assynt Field Club, Stalkers, Woodland restoration)

The residency project will have a small support group drawn from local people able to assist the artist with making contacts and other matters requiring local knowledge.

The fee to cover all artist(s) travel, accommodation, materials and completed art work and their time is a total of £5,000. If there is an issue over the exact numbers of days an artist can commit to this residency, this will be resolved by reference to prevailing rates recommended by Scottish Artists Union in relation to experience.

There are no limits being placed on the form of the final art work or the chosen artistic medium. Reference has been made to artists in the plural and again there is no prior expectation that this be a solo residency. The limitation here is that of funding and the practical realities of costs of travel and accommodation to a remote part of the North West of Scotland.

It is hoped the artist will willingly provide a regular blog to be posted on local websites to aid communication and contact with the wider community and further afield.

The Assynt Foundation has an arts studio (see images on Vimeo link) that will be available for use by the resident(s) for own work and the conduct of the workshops. This has been currently reserved for the art residency through the month on May and June (with scope to extend to cover additional time periods). Consideration is being given to how this space can also be utilised as a genuine place of residence for the chosen artist.  The artist in residence in 2018 had her own camper van, and the chosen artist may choose to make own arrangements. The cost of accommodation must be met from within the overall fee paid to the artist.

Requirements and process.

To apply for this opportunity you must:

    1. Provide a CV, with detail of past projects relevant to this application.
    2. Details of your website and/or ten images of recent art work, or digital examples of written, performance, audio visual or work that indicates nature and content of your creative activity.
    3. Statement setting out initial ideas of how you will approach this residency; the activities you will undertake; why you are interested in engaging with this subject; an indication of your availability, and the time you can give to this project. This should be no more than 1,000 words.

The deadline for receipt is: 12 noon Monday 8th April. Applications must emailed to [email protected]  and all will be acknowledged by email. Given potential for mail entering spam folders, please contact Nigel Goldie ([email protected] ) if you do not have an acknowledgement within 24 hours.

Shortlisting will take place in week beginning April 15 and a decision made by the end of that week





The minutes of Assynt Foundation board meetings can be found HERE

You can donate to Assynt Foundation here

Become a Friend of The Assynt Foundation

Keep up to date with Foundation news and events by joining as an associate member.

Assynt Foundation

Scottish registered company no. SC272665

Scottish registered charity no. SC036540

Postal address – Glencanisp, Lochinver, Sutherland IV27 4LW

Email – [email protected]

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Facebook page –

PRIVACY NOTICE under the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU

The Assynt Foundation (“the charity”) collects and holds certain personal data for the purpose of fulfilling its charitable objects, as recorded at the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

The charity will record and process personal data about its trustees, members, supporters, employees, volunteers, contractors, staff of partner or funder organisations, attendees at charity events and other (natural) persons who have logged an interest in the charity or its activities with the charity from time to time.

The charity’s lawful basis for processing data will vary according to the data subject, but for example in the case of members of the charity, it will be to administer their contracts of membership; for staff and contractors or staff of partner or funder organisations, it will be to administer their contracts with the charity; and for supporters & volunteers it will be in relation to legal obligations/requirements and/or their consent.

The charity will take all reasonably practicable measures to keep that personal data safe and secure.

The charity may on rare occasions pass personal data to 3rd parties without the specific consent of the data subject , but only if it is appropriate and necessary to do so in support of the fulfilment of our charitable objects.

The charity will never, ever sell, rent or trade personal data to any 3rd party.

The charity’s data retention periods will follow the statutory guidelines, and for example we may retain data about members of the charity for the entire duration of their membership and up to 6 years afterwards where this is necessary.

You have the right to:- be provided with the data we hold about you, rectify/update that data, ask us to delete that data, restrict processing, data portability, object to our use of your data, not to be subject to automated decision making. We will comply within one month of your request, but the consequence may be that we will be unable to continue our relationship with you if we cannot hold and process the necessary data about you.

Please write to or email us if you wish to make a request or make a complaint in relation to your personal data at the relevant address above.

Issued May 2018