Spirit of Crofting

Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting Event
Rothes, Morayshire – Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October 2018

Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting

In October 2018, the Scottish Crofting Federation delivered a two day conference in Rothes, Morayshire, supported by Moray LEADER, The MacRobert Trust, Big Lottery and the Princes’ Countryside Fund.

Moray, since the 2010 Crofting Act, is now recognised as one of the new crofting areas and was therefore the ideal location to promote and celebrate the spirit and resilience of crofting, whilst focusing on the key diversification themes of food, drink and tourism.

Keynote speaker, Fergus Ewing, MSP joined us on the first day and following lunch we heard Kylesku Hotel’s story about how they work in partnership with local suppliers stating “fresh, local food and drink are at the heart of our philosophy”. Site visits were then the order of the day and Elchies Goats and Auld Mill Alpacas welcomed participants to their premises.

The evening was spent in celebration with two new SCF awards, sponsored by The MacRobert Trust - the first - Euan Macrae’s Young Crofter of the Year Award and second, Best Newcomer Award. The 2018 winners were: Young Crofter of the Year 2018 - Donald MacSween, Ness, Isle of Lewis and Best Crofting Newcomer, Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer, Lynbreck Croft, Speyside. Lunches and dinner for the whole event were provided by Dede MacGillivray’s Croft No 8 catering company who delivered a truly sumptuous menu.

We had a busy second day of inspiring workshops from River Spey Angler’s Association – Salmon Crofting; croft based food businesses Salt-air Charcuterie and the Spice Route, to global market brand The Isle of Harris Gin Co.

Two full days of inspirational stories told by both providers and end users that the participants really enjoyed.

Here is just some of the feedback we received:-

“I am so inspired by the warmth and passion people have shown. I was hoping to rekindle the interest and determination I had a few years ago but lost. Coming here has certainly boosted me. Being amongst like minded folk who love the land, community and show so much passion is truly inspiring. Thank you for giving me a fab two days.”

“We are complete ‘newbies’ to the crofting world and were blown away by the professionalism, enthusiasm and openness of the community at the conference to share and encourage ‘new entrants. We now want to sign up for training and share with others. The food was the best we’ve ever had at a conference, validating the value of crofting. Well done!”

“Very well organised and delivered. Really made me reflect with a view to how to move my business forward. Always good to take some ‘time out’ to think. Thank you. Rekindled enthusiasm and inspired at what can be done!”