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Crofters’ Voice Heard in Parliament Regarding Goose Petition

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) appeared before the Scottish Parliamentary Petitions Committee today (Tuesday) to defend its call for the Government to do more about the escalating numbers of geese devastating crofters’ crops.

SCF Director Roddy MacDonald and Chief Executive Patrick Krause defended the SCF petition calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to address the problems created by increasing populations of wild geese in the crofting areas as a matter of priority; reassess its decision to stop funding existing goose management programmes, and assign additional resources to Crop Protection and Adaptive Management programmes to ensure this threat to the future of crofting is averted.

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Government Failing to Provide Answers to Torridon Planning Controversy, says SCF

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation has voiced its concern that the Scottish Government’s planning system is undermining crofting law after the Government said it would not intervene in the case of a Wester Ross woman who is trying to build a house on her croft.

In August, Government planners rejected an appeal by Torridon crofter Elaine Holmes against Highland Council’s decision to refuse a planning application for a small single-storey house on her croft at Fasag at the head of Loch Torridon. There is no house on the croft at present. Ms Holmes, who is a mother of three, is currently unable to stay in Torridon and lives nearly ten miles away from her croft.

After Government planners rejected the appeal the SCF wrote to the Planning Minister, Derek Mackay, asking him to reconsider the decision. The SCF argued that the planners’ justification for refusing the house on ‘landscape’ grounds went against the advice of the statutory landscape authority, Scottish Natural Heritage. Mr Mackay has now replied to them, saying that he has no intention of taking the matter further.

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Crofting Federation Questions Scottish Government Land Sale Policy

Friday, October 18, 2013

Following the Scottish Government's decision this week to withdraw part of its Rosal forest estate in Sutherland from open market sale following public criticism, the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) is asking the Government to examine its policies on the sale of public land, community ownership and the creation of new crofts.

SCF Chair, Derek Flyn, believes the Rosal case demonstrates some of the problems caused by the manner in which the Forestry Commission conducts the process of land sale. He said: “There is no surprise that local communities did not come forward expressing an interest in the land, when, as the sales particulars were keen to point out, communities were cleared from this land and that it is a deserted ‘wilderness’. Putting this land on the market in this way is simply perpetuating a system of land ownership concentrated into few hands, a system the Scottish people want to see changed.”

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