Crofting is as an important part of our cultural heritage, and an important part of our future, supporting a unique way of life, a diverse and rich environment, and a rural population in some of the most fragile areas of the Highlands and Islands.
In “A Charter for Crofting”, published by the SCF in 2007, four key issues were identified as being central to the future of crofting.
These were –
• Environmentally sound and economically viable crofting land use
• A well-regulated, well-supported crofting system
• Access to economic opportunities and services
• A strong local food economy
These issues highlight the many dimensions to a viable future for crofting and underline the need for a joined up approach to public policy in relation to crofting, where “One Size doesn’t fit all.”
The Gathering will be addressed by a wide range of speakers including the Minister for Environment Roseanna Cunningham MSP George Lyon MEP, Brendan O’Malley IFA and members of the recently formed SCF youth group.
We also plan to hold a number of participatory workshops at the gathering to specifically look at how the SCF can establish a clear and forward looking agenda for the future of crofting. The results of these workshops will be used in conjunction with the recent membership survey to inform and focus the work of the SCF, develop our capacity to lead from the front and build on our position as a major influence on the policy agenda for the crofting counties.