The SCF Gathering 2013
"Common Grazings – Utilising Potential"
Stornoway Town Hall, Isle of Lewis – 19th and 20th September
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. Common grazings make up a large proportion of land covered by crofting tenure extending to nearly 600,000ha. These common grazings play an important role for many crofters and provide a significant amount of public benefit, environmentally as well as aesthetically. They provide 15% of High Nature Value farmland in Scotland and 30% of the area with peat of over 2m in depth in the UK. Common Grazings: Utilising Potential explored ways to develop opportunities offered to crofters and the wider community through action to improve, protect and manage habitats, species and landscapes, as well as looking at opportunities offered by community ownership and asset managment.
Speakers covered theme topics including funding support under CAP for the use of grazings; management structures for appropriate enterprises on common grazings; looking at how common grazings in other parts of the UK are used; diversification of income sources; community assets and ownership and energy generation. Registers of Scotland also kindly stepped in at the last minute in place of the speaker from the IUCN Peatlands Programme who was unable to attend.
Each presentation will be summerised in the next edition of The Crofter, coming out in December. However if you would like a copy of any of the presentations please get in touch with SCF HQ.
We would like to thank the following organisations for supporting this event:
Naturesave Trust for their contribution towards costs. The Naturesave Trust – Funding Environmental and Conservation projects throughout the UK. http://www.naturesave.co.uk/trust_naturesave.html