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SCF Head Office
Kyle Industrial Estate
Kyle of Lochalsh
Tel: 01599 530 005
Fax: 01599 618 038
Situation Vacant- Hungry for Rights Training Tutor/Facilitator
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Self-employed Training Tutor/ Facilitator
0.5 FTE £22,680 - £25,200 pa pro-rata for 28 months
The Scottish Crofting Federation requires a part-time self-employed training tutor/facilitator working with communities in the Western Isles and Skye and Lochalsh. Part of ‘Hungry for Rights’, a new EU funded project, the person will be responsible for assessment of training needs among different stakeholders and the design and implementation of a training programme on capacity building for local supply chains.
The candidate must have experience with adult education and designing training programmes.
- Informal training and adult education
- Facilitation and management of group dynamics
- Training design and ongoing tutoring
- Active and engaged at local level (Western Scotland)
Knowledge and skills:
- Basic knowledge of alternative food systems and food policy issues
- Knowledge of and experience with local authorities in the target areas
- Familiar with internet and social media
- Excellent social and communication skills
- Ability to work with others remotely
This job may require working evenings and weekends.
Crofters Urge Crofting Commission to Block Croft Land Speculation
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation is calling on the Crofting Commission to act to prevent a “blatant speculative development” on croft land in Lochaber.
On Monday evening (13th May) members of the Crofting Commission will travel to Ballachulish village hall to hear Donald and Elizabeth MacGillivray’s application to decroft land at 37 North Ballachulish on which they have been granted planning permission for ten houses.
Their planning application was subject to fierce local opposition and refused by Highland Council in order to protect locally important agricultural land. However, a Scottish Government reporter overturned the decision in 2011 and the MacGillivrays are now seeking to decroft the land in order that the housing development can proceed.
SCF chief executive, Patrick Krause, said: “The 2010 Crofting Act gave the Crofting Commission more powers to reject decrofting applications. The notes that accompany the Act say these powers have been granted in order 'to tackle speculation on the development value of croft land'.
“What is being planned for 37 North Ballachulish is a blatant speculative development of the sort that the Act is intended to prevent and which the Commission has a duty to prevent. It is essential that the Commission refuse this application and demonstrate their commitment to following the intentions of the crofting legislation that they exist to uphold."
Contact: Patrick Krause, SCF Chief Executive 07739 941 199
SCF Office 01599 530 005
Notes to editors
A link to the full account of the background to the North Ballachulish case, and the SCF’s submission to the Crofting Commission, can be found below:North Ballachulish Crofting Report
Meeting of the Scottish Parliament March 12th 2013
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
The Deputy Presiding Officer (John Scott): The final item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S4M-04411, in the name of Jean Urquhart, on the role of crofting in the Highlands and Islands. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.
That the Parliament understands that there are 18,027 crofts in the Highlands and Islands and across Scotland, housing over 33,000 people; considers that crofters play a key role through the production of store animals for the agricultural supply chain and in maintaining land in remote areas; believes that crofts are a valuable source of high-health status animals for larger agricultural food producers; considers the work of crofters to be vital to Scotland’s national food and drink policy and to the continuing success of the sector; understands that most crofters rely on common agricultural policy subsidies to earn a marginal income and that they have to take on second jobs; believes that, by bringing in new inhabitants and because of the economic links that crofters have with the rest of the agricultural sector, crofting has helped maintain population levels in remote communities, considers crofting to be of paramount importance to the environment, food and drink sector and economy, and would welcome the interests of crofters and their communities being championed.
For more information please see:
Uist Crofters Warn of Imminent Catastrophe
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Crofting in the Uists is under threat from a goose population rising out of control, public meetings held by the Scottish Crofting Federation in North Uist and Benbecula heard last week.
“Crofters’ complaints about the goose problem are not new,” said Derek Flyn, Chair of the Federation, “but it is now reaching devastating proportions in the Uists. Crops of cereal and grass are being ruined by grazing and fouling by geese. A crofter will wait on tenterhooks for the crop to ripen, balancing this against the risk of the geese coming. If he is unlucky, just when the crop is capable of being harvested they move in and completely destroy his field in hours.”
As a breeding bird the Greylag goose could once be considered rare in British terms; in 1986 it was estimated that there were around 700-800 breeding pairs in the UK, of which around 150 were breeding in the Outer Hebrides . At that time, North Uist crofters were seeking to control the spread of Greylag geese which they claimed were causing them substantial agricultural losses. Now the Uists are year-round home to more than 10,000 greylag geese and that population is growing.
SCF Welcome Action on Crofting Legislation Glitch
Friday, March 29, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the announcement from Minister for Environment, Paul Wheelhouse, that a bill will be raised in the Scottish Parliament to amend crofting legislation to authorise the Crofting Commission to consider decrofting applications by owner-occupier crofters.
Chair of the SCF, Derek Flyn, said “Having brought this to the attention of the Crofting Commission at the beginning of this year, it is gratifying to see that it is being acted on with due haste by the Scottish Government. The Commission took legal advice on the situation, as did the Scottish Government, and it appears they have accepted that there is a glitch in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) 2010 Act and that the only course of action is to introduce new legislation.”
Decrofting was originally made available to landlords who didn’t have a tenant, that is where a croft was vacant. Now it is seen as the way a crofter can develop his croft outside crofting controls. When the legislation was changed to treat owner-occupier crofters the same as tenant crofters, it also made clear that an owner-occupied croft was not vacant. It was therefore not available for decrofting.
Situation Vacant- SCF Training Project Manager
Thursday, March 28, 2013
SCF requires a full-time training manager, based within the Highlands and Islands, for the coordination of the SCF's 'Crofters & Small Land Holders Training Programme', which runs until December 2015.
Please see our Training page for more info or follow the link below.
SCF Fights for Improved Crofters’ Grant Scheme
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has emphasised the need for a grant scheme specific to crofting in the next round of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). This comes in a Parliamentary report sent to the Scottish Government last week.
The Parliamentary Cross-party Group on Crofting, of which SCF holds the secretariat, convened a working-group to explore how the revised Rural Development Programme can help crofting and sent their recommendations to the Scottish Government team working on the new SRDP.
The First Croft is Registered
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) congratulates the first crofter to have his croft put on the Crofting Register.
Donald Murdie of Galtrigill, Isle of Skye, is the first crofter to have gone through the process of getting his croft mapped and applying to have the map put on the Crofting Register, held by Registers of Scotland. Mr Murdie was informed yesterday that his application is successful and that his croft is the first to be registered.
SCF Urge Minister to Act on Legal Glitch
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) met with Scottish Government yesterday to urge a rapid resolution to the owner-occupier crofter decrofting problem.
Following a private meeting with Minister for Environment Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Norman Leask, Parliamentary Spokesman of the SCF said “I made it clear that our members are extremely concerned about the fact that owner-occupier crofters are being told by the Crofting Commission that their decrofting applications cannot be processed due to a legal glitch. This has the potential to cause serious problems for crofters who are trying to de-croft bits of land in order to secure loans. However, I was gratified that the Minister is clearly taking this very seriously. He and his officials appreciate the problem and are working towards resolution as expediently as possible.”
SCF Launches Crofters’ Legal Helpline
Monday, March 11, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has launched a legal helpline for its members, in partnership with well-known crofting law firm Inksters Solicitors.
Fiona Mandeville, Vice-Chair of the SCF said, “Crofting law, as everyone knows, is complicated – and crofters needing legal advice really have to go to a specialist solicitor. The SCF has seen the need for a legal helpline for some time and now, in partnership with Inksters Solicitors, is pleased to offer this service to its members”.
Brian Inkster, head of Inksters Solicitors said “We are one of the few legal firms in Scotland specialising in crofting law. With the passing of the new crofting Act there is even more need for a direct route to expert advice. We are very pleased to be working with the SCF in providing this much-needed service. SCF members will be able to phone one Highland number – 01599 230 300 – to be put through to a lawyer with crofting expertise. The initial advice will be free (for around 15 minutes, which can usually solve many problems) and if the SCF member wishes to engage Inksters to undertake legal work on their behalf they will receive a 10% discount on the fees chargeable.”
Crofting Federation Delight at Raasay U-turn
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has expressed its delight at the Scottish Government’s decision announced today to restore the shooting and fishing rights on the Isle of Raasay to the island’s crofters.
Crofting Commission Called on to Re-assure Owner-Occupier Crofters
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) have called on the Crofting Commission to sort out the confusion regarding a legislation glitch that has caused the commission to cease processing owner-occupier applications to decroft their house-site, with the utmost urgency.
Derek Flyn, chair of the SCF, said “This problem has not suddenly appeared. It is part of the 2010 Crofting Reform Act. The SCF brought it to the attention of Crofting Commission several weeks ago but they have told us nothing about how and when it will be resolved; only that owner-occupier crofter applications will not be processed. This has serious consequences for people getting a mortgage, trying to build their house. What are they to do?”
SCF Call for U-turn on Raasay Shooting Rights
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has called for the Scottish Government to reverse its decision to deprive the community on the Isle of Raasay of their shooting and fishing rights, which has been in the hands of a co-operative of crofters on the island for almost twenty years. Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse last week defended the decision of the Government, as landlord of the island, to award the lease to an Ayrshire-based company on the grounds that it was ‘the best value for Scotland’.
SCF Chair, Derek Flyn said, “When we were the Scottish Crofters Union, our organisation was instrumental in getting the fishing and shooting rights into the control of the crofting community. We are therefore stunned that all the benefit this brought to Raasay has been undone by the stroke of a pen of a faceless civil servant in Edinburgh. The ‘best value’ the Minister refers to is in fact in the region of a few thousand pounds per year. This small sum will be far outstripped by the damage done to the island’s economy.”
SRDP Discussion paper
Monday, February 04, 2013
This report is produced to provide relevant information to the Scottish Government on the issues for crofting in the context of Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) development 2014-20 and to present recommendations for a future SRDP. Stakeholders involved in discussing and/or compiling this paper were: The Crofting Commission; with input from Scottish Crofting Federation; National Farmers Union Scotland (Crofting Committee); Scottish Natural Heritage; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; HIE; Scottish Landed Estates; and the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism.
The decision in 2003 by the European Union to decouple CAP support from production has had a detrimental impact on agricultural activity and a decline in the agricultural contribution to the economy in peripheral, often fragile areas of Scotland.
The key singular message being conveyed is the public benefit which crofting has the potential to deliver in terms of agricultural, social, economic, environmental, and landscape measures, with potential to also enhance tourism, housing, carbon reduction and cultural measures. In recent years, various studies have suggested that crofting faces serious issues, with declining use of both inbye and common grazings land, evidenced by a reduction in livestock and a historic reduction in cropping. At the same time, crofting has seen a very low uptake of SRDP funding, despite the fact that the programme had specific measures to benefit crofting and small units.
Various studies indicate that crofters demonstrate a desire to continue crofting, even when the economic returns are poor or negligible; however there is less appetite to continue crofting when the activity actually costs the crofter. Additionally, at a socio-economic level, many of the areas where crofting takes place are designated as fragile due to multiple deprivation. Many of the most remote areas are seeing a significant decline in the primary industries of agriculture, fishing and forestry, as well as significant population loss or migration towards larger centres, and unsustainable demographic changes.
It appears that with comparatively low levels of support, crofters are willing to continue delivering the public benefits which crofting brings. However, without targeted, easy to access and relevant support, the indications are that crofting will continue to decline, with a concomitant loss of skills and infrastructure, making it more difficult for crofting to recover in the future. The loss of active crofting through a failure to provide targeted support would result in a significant loss of public benefit.
The report addresses the why there is a need for a programme for crofting and the how in making recommendations.
Crofters urge rejection of the Sound of Barra marine designation
Thursday, January 17, 2013
The Scottish Crofting Federation is urging the Scottish Government to turn down the proposal that the Sound of Barra should become a marine Special Area of Conservation.
The SCF is also asking the Government to radically revise the way it enacts European environmental legislation, arguing that the Sound of Barra case is only the latest in a long list of disputes between communities and environmental administrators which waste time and resources on both sides of the argument.