The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has backed calls by island crofters for an expansion in the market for mutton.
Western Isles crofters say the hills and moors on the islands are suffering from lack of grazing, and this situation could be turned round if there was a greater emphasis on mutton for the mainstream market.
Richard MacLennan, who has a small blackface herd in Borve, Harris, says ageing crofters find it hard to gather sheep from the hills. He said: “Less people work with dogs now. It’s hard work to keep a hill flock. There is also a lack of hefted ewes to make good mutton after breeding.”