SCF Annual Gathering – October 2011
"1886 and all that"
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig,
Sleat, Isle of Skye
3rd and 4th of October
(lunchtime to lunchtime)
The theme of the Annual Gathering this year will be crofting land tenure: past, present and future.
It is appropriate that the gathering should return to Skye, after a break of almost 10 years, as 2011 is the 125th Anniversary of the Crofters Act 1886. It was Skye where crofters? discontent at their ill-treatment rose into a mass protest and became a national scandal and names like the battle of the Braes and the Glendale martyrs entered Scottish consciousness. In 1886 the Crofters Act was passed through Parliament and the crofting community for the first time had the rights and regulated land tenure which we still value today.After 125 years crofting is still a form of landholding which is recognised as being the "glue that holds the community together" in some of the most remote and fragile areas of Britain and many believe that this land tenure should be introduced to the rest of Scotland to re-populate the rural areas that have been cleared by industrial agriculture.
There will be speakers on crofting history, crofting community and culture; the formation of crofting regulated tenure, other forms of land tenure (including the Glendale "Irish" example and agricultural tenancies), community ownership, use of common grazings and the current crofting law in regards to land tenure. Young Crofters will be meeting to discuss what they feel are the needs and aspirations of their generation and there will be plenty of time for open discussion on issues such as regulated versus non-regulated systems, owner-occupancy versus tenancy, what is needed to sustain crofting tenure and, yes, the big question, what is best for rural Scotland.But not all work: children from throughout the Crofting islands will be performing the poetry and song of their island ancestors and the Young Crofters will be organising a ceilidh after the celebrated SCF dinner. And, no doubt, the craic will be good.
Contact SCF HQ on 01599 530 005 to reserve your place.