This event is aimed at crofters thinking of diversifying into agritourism. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the zoom registration link
The event will be hosted by SCF director Fiona Mandeville. Fiona was brought up in a guest house built by her parents on the family croft on Skye. She managed a small craft knitwear outlet producing garments from blackface and Shetland wool, dyed with local croft vegetation. Long before the advent of Airbnb, she operated a successful bunkhouse, then converted it to a very popular holiday cottage which has provided self-catering accommodation since 2005. Fiona will briefly talk about her experience with B&B and her holiday cottage.
Russell Smith: Russell has run a Caravan and Motorhome Club Certificated Location on his croft outside Bonar Bridge for 20 years. The site has provided a modest but steady income over the years and the work fits in well with croft life. Russell will talk about what is required to get a site established, the work involved and the benefits.
Phil Knott: Phil is a wildlife tour operator and naturalist across the crofting counties and will talk on the untapped value of wildlife to crofting businesses. Phil and his partner are crofters at Wildlife Croft Skye in Drumfearn, a 3ha wooded croft managed for wildlife and food production. They have a self catering unit, nature trails and lots of wildlife information for guests.
Robin Haig: Robin runs a “rough as guts” croft house bothy on Airbnb. Her back to basics approach has proven very popular and has also featured in the The Guardian’s “10 of the best wilderness holidays in Scotland”.
Liz Allan: Liz is going through the process just now of applying for planning permission for two “chalets” on the croft. Plans include developing an orchard and wild flowers. Liz’s venture will involve her family and opportunities for the local community.
Helen Scott-Danter: : Helen has been running a self catering business with her husband on their croft for the last 20 years. Helen is also a shiatsu and reiki practitioner and a dramatherapist and for the last 8 years, has been offering treatments to guests as well as local people in her “Armadilla”, a small pod on the croft. She also offers meditative walks around the croft walk, has run some workshops and has started offering online counselling during the recent pandemic. Helen will talk about her journey, and ways she has found to dovetail her background with living on a working croft.