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Crofters’ Conference Highlights the Plight of Common Grazings

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation’s conference for 2013 “Common Grazings: Utilising Potential”, held in Stornoway, brought the potential of common grazings into sharp focus. The conference, opened by the Scottish Government’s Deputy Director for Agriculture and Rural Development, David Barnes, explored how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), including the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP), and development initiatives such as community renewable energy projects could help to revive the use of common grazings and realise their huge potential for crofting communities.

Chair of the SCF, Derek Flyn said “Common grazings make up a large proportion of land under crofting tenure, extending to nearly 600,000 hectares. Today they still play an important part in the livelihoods of many crofters and provide a significant amount of public benefit, environmentally as well as aesthetically. But, for a number of contributing factors, common grazings are being under-used and even abandoned in many areas. The conference has been looking at how this vast resource can be utilised, providing income for the crofters who manage them, generating development revenue for crofting communities and delivering public goods.”

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SCF Welcomes Continuation of Crofting Support Schemes

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead’s announcement that the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme (CCAGS) and the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) will continue in 2014, the CAP transition year.

“There is certainly comfort in Mr Lochhead’s words”, said Patrick Krause, SCF’s Chief Executive, “as there has been a long, worrying period during which it wasn’t clear what was going to happen after 2013. There have been rumours flying about, the worst being, of course, that CCAGS would not run during the transition year. The SCF has been pressing the Scottish Government for continuation of this essential investment in crofting, so it is heartening that we are assured that it will run through 2014.”

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