Gore family step into row over future of wallaby island

The granddaughter of the Countess who brought wallabies to a remote Scottish Island has stepped into an ongoing row over their future.

Broadcaster Kirsty Young and her husband Nick Jones are said to be supportive of moving the remaining wallabies off Inchconnachan Island, on the advice of conservationist Chris Packham.

The couple, who bought the island for £1.6million last month, issued a statement through a representative, in response to concerns the wallabies were to be culled.

However, campaigners remain concerned about the marsupials, that are native to Australia, and say they should be allowed to remain on the island. A petition has been signed by more than 50,000 people.

Lucy Gore, the granddaughter of Lady Fiona Gore, Countess of Arran, who introduced the colony to the island, added her voice to the campaign.

READ MORE: Plan to remove wallabies from Scottish island are 80 years ‘like relocating Nessie”

She said the family was “appalled” on learning that the wallabies were under threat.

She writes: “I am one of the granddaughters of Fiona Arran who regularly lived on Inchconnachan and put the wallabies on the island, she flew them by helicopter to the island and cared for them with so much love, wishing to give them the freedom of the island in a natural habitat.

“I am, as are my family appalled and so angry that the new owners are so callously doing this, I have no words except an enormous amount of gratitude for those of you who are signing this, justice has to outweigh this horrific act.

“I agree that the sellers (we had nothing to do with the sale as it is a different part of the family) had a great responsibility to the wildlife on this island to deeply protect it, they have failed, be it an oversight or whatever it may have been, now this has to be made right.”

Fears the wallabies could be culled were prompted by a council document which states that the long-term plan for the island is to remove non-native flora and fauna.

READ MORE: Woodland Trust slam plans for holiday cottage on remote Scottish island 

A conservation group has also criticised plans by the new owners to build a two-storey timber lodge on the island, alongside a boathouse and jetty, amid fears that ancient woodland will be “gone forever”.


The Woodland Trust has written to Loch Lomond National Park to argue that the project should be rejected.

George Anderson, of the trust, said: “Ancient woodland is an irreplaceable habitat’. Once lost, it is gone forever.

“If ancient woodland isn’t safe here, then something is far wrong.”

The trust said it was concerned about the direct loss of ancient woodland , the noise and light pollution and the threat to the long-term retention of surrounding trees.

Under the plans 35 trees would be cut down.

The new owners say their goal is to create a “world-class and beautiful place for everybody to enjoy”. 

The existing, crumbling timber house was once the summer home of the Lady Fiona Gore, who became the fastest woman on water in 1980 at the age of 53 after reaching 102mph in a speedboat on Lake Windermere.

The island has been in the family since the 14th Century and is now known for its colony of wallabies, which are thought to have been introduced in the 1940s.

It is designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation and is accessible by boat from the village of Luss on the south side of the Loch

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