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Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground - gathering pace

Sunday 22nd September 2019 11.00am-3.00pm

Elchies Goat Farm, Aberlour, Moray

This event will build on the conversations and common interests from our last event at Glachbeg Croft.

Open to all, but specifically aimed at those who hope to start offering social crofting opportunities. A chance to come together and look at what help is needed to get started.

Free event but booking is essential.


Croft Woodlands Conference 9-10 May Boat of Garten

Hosted by the Croft Woodlands Project and Forestry Commission Scotland, the conference is a FREE event, but booking is essential. You can find out more information and book your place here.

The conference will focus on the experience of people in the Highlands and Islands who have planted trees for a purpose - integrated with livestock management, sheltering land-based enterprises, providing raw materials and forest products, and boosting local biodiversity.

There will be contributions from experts on a range of topics, including woodland regeneration in Norway, upland agroforestry, mycorrhizal fungi, establishment ‘on the edge’, woodland flora and woodland crofts and housing. The conference will be addressed by Fergus Ewing, Cabinet secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity on day two, while Woodland Trust CEO, Beccy Speight will open proceedings on day on. The full programme can be downloaded here.


Threats to Crofting - Shetland Open Meetings

The Scottish Crofting Federation will be holding meetings in Shetland in February:

Carnegie Hall, Sandwick on Wednesday 13th February 7pm-9pm

Voe Hall on Thursday 14th February 4pm - 6pm

This a critical time of change for crofting. Brexit has led to uncertainty around the future of agricultural support and access to European markets; The recent announcement of cuts to LFASS; Crofting law is being amended with a bill due to go through the Scottish Parliament this session. These are just some of the issues that we will be discussing at the meetings.

We do hope that you will be able to join us at one of the meetings so that we may identify the issues of most importance to you and gather your concerns for the future. SCF is the only organisation solely dedicated to fighting for crofting. Your attendance is vital to ensure a strong and united front.

Bring a friend or neighbour, the meetings are open to all.

If you have any questions at all about the meetings, please call Sandra or Sarah on 01599 530005.

We look forward to seeing you there.


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

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:-
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.”
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!”
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!”

“I am so inspired by the warmth and passion people have

“We are complete ‘newbies’ to the crofting world and

“Very well organised and delivered. Really made me



With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, announcements on the Ewe Hogg Scheme and delayed CAP payments, we want to hear your views and any questions you may have on crofting matters. Drop in to SCF HQ in Kyle between 10.30-12.30, or if you would prefer an appointment please book between 12.30-14.00. Tea and coffee. All welcome. To book and appointment or for more information please call 01599 5300050 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Tuesday 22 August at 7pm in Gairloch Village Hall. Hosted by SRUC, come along and put your question to the panel of experts.



The Crofting Law Group are holding their annual conference this year at Lews Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis on 9th June 2017.

Chaired by Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, Bt. QC, the conference will look at the Scottish Government’s proposals for Crofting Law Reform, where things are at and what happens next. Michael O’Neill from the Crofting Bill Team of the Scottish Government will guide delegates through that.

There will be views from Patrick Krause Chief Executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Bill Barron, Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission will provide a Crofting Commission Update.

The Conference will look at the question of Common Grazings, what went wrong last year and what does the future hold with reference to the Crofting Commission’s proposed new Common Grazing Regulations Template. There will be contributions and discussion on this topic from the Crofting Commission’s Solicitor, David Findlay, Solicitor Brian Inkster, Crofters and Landlords.

Relevant excerpts of the film ‘Grazing on the Edge’ will be shown and introduced by Janette Sutherland of the Scottish Agricultural College.

Duncan MacPhee, Solicitor, will look at Mortgages for Croft Houses.

There will also be the usual case law update provided this year by Robert Sutherland, Advocate.

Representatives from Registers of Scotland will be on hand to answer any queries concerning the Crofting Register.

For full details and to book your place see here


Local Hustings

Election Hustings in Pittentrail Hall, Rogart

Tuesday 23 May 7.30-9.00pm

Come along and

* Meet the candidates

* Voice your concerns

* Ask your questions

* Listen to each party

Sponsored by Caidreachas Croitearachd na h-Alba, Meur Chataibh/ Scottish Crofting Federation, South-east Sutherland Branch


SCF Annual Gathering 2017 - Crofting’s place in Europe

Mr. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity opened the event as keynote speaker and took multiple questions from the floor. He reiterated his personal and the Scottish government’s continued support for crofting.

Friday 10 March Session 1:


Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, from Fryslân, professor emeritus Wageningen Agricultural University and adjunct professor of rural sociology at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, opened the session. Using data from 26 years of research into farming styles, he made the case for small-scale agriculture, to be seen not as failed large farming but as a productive class in its own (often farming ‘economically’) and - contrary to expectations - not disappearing.

To download a copy of Jan Douwe van der Ploeg’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) ... Please click here

Gwyn Jones from Wales and director of the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism. He worked for 20 years in the Highlands and Islands, mostly as a SAC advisor. He has carried out research on common grazings and on wider CAP support for crofting and presented data on Pillar two of the CAP, showing a mismatch between policy and implementation.

To download a copy of Gwyn Jone’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) ... Please click here

Steven G Thomson, Senior Agricultural Economist with 24 years of experience in agricultural and rural policy analysis, presented a comprehensive set of data on the First Pillar of CAP under the title “Crofting in Numbers”.

To download a copy of Steven Thomson’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (5 mbs) ... Please click here

Samuel Féret is the executive coordinator of ARC2020 (Agricultural and Rural Convention) since April 2013, a French NGO focused on analysing and promoting better food and farming policies in the EU. Together with Slow Food Youth Network leaders, he is the co-editor of a book “CAP What’s Cooking, Recipes to better understand the CAP”.

To download a copy of Samuel Féret’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (1 mbs) ... Please click here

Hanny van Geel spoke on behalf of the European Coordination Via Campesina, the European part of the global movement of La Via Campesina, of which SCF is a member. She is initiator of a young female farmers group and trainer of young (female) farmers and former chair of Nederlandse Akkerbouw Vakbond (Dutch Arable Farmers Association).

To download a copy of Hanny van Geel’s PowerPoint presentation as a Pdf (4 mbs) ... Please click here

The last speaker, Robin Calvert, runs the 44 hectare croft Reidchalmai at Rogart with his wife Penny. “We have a fold of Highland cattle and buy-in lambs to sell on as gimmers, also free-range pigs and poultry, hay and some roots. Essence of the croft is to make it as self-supporting as possible whilst maintaining high standards of animal welfare” Most home-bred animals are used as the basis for his birth-to-plate business the ‘Well Hung Lamb Co.’ which has been running since 2001 through the on- the- croft butchering unit. He made a plea for crofters to beat the drum louder for crofting meat.

Saturday 11 March Session

Dr Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe. The opening speech - Scotland’s Position in Brexit - is available to view here.

A summary of the presentation by Bill Barron, Chief Executive, Crofting Commission is available in the latest edition of the Crofter (111).


First Call for SCF Annual Gathering 2017

SCF will hold it’s 2017 Annual gathering, with the theme Crofting’s Place in Europe, on 10th and 11th March, noon to noon, in Applecross, Wester Ross. The event aims to set a crofting agenda for the upcoming Brexit negotiations and a post-Brexit agricultural policy that is fit for crofting.

Location: Hartfield House, Applecross.

Time: from lunch to lunchtime, Friday 10 - Saturday 11 March. The programme will start at 2pm sharp but gathering will be from noon on.

Registration: there will be no registration fee; however, places will be limited so you do have to register with .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). More details can be found here….


Crofting Community & The Environment

An event delivered by the Land Manager’s Advisory Group (a subsidiary of the Sleat General Grazings Committee) intended to bring a greater awareness of what Crofters do, what their regulatory responsibilities are, what management schemes they are involved in and what they do for the countryside in general will take place at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Wednesday, 21st September 2016 at 7pm.

William Swan will be introducing the law and structure under which Crofters operate, with Ian Lindsay providing information on land use and the environment. Alastair Culbertson will
talk about schemes such as the Sea Eagle Scheme and these presentations will be followed by a Q & A session.

The event isn’t specifically for Crofters (though some will attend) but is intended to inform the wider community who know little or nothing about how Crofters handle their responsibilities. It is aimed at imparting some background knowledge which will help explain to the uninitiated why Crofters do what they do, so please do come along.


​Crofters’ and Smallholders’ Discussion Meeting

Crofters’ and Smallholders’ Discussion Meeting

The meeting will take place at the Pittentrail Hall, Rogart , IV28 3XJ at 6.30 pm on Monday 20th June 2016.

All welcome

Madeleine Henry and Katie Adam (researchers from SRUC Inverness) together with Caroline Robinson (Veterinary Investigation officer from SAC Consulting, Perth) invite you to a evening meeting to discuss attitudes to animal health, welfare and biosecurity among crofters, smallholders and smaller-scale livestock keepers.


SOIL: Knowing what you’ve got & making it work for you

Thursday 2nd June, 10.30 – 3.30 Chalmersquoy, Westray, Orkney

Practical hands-on day with James Bretherton, Agscope, organised by the Soil Association Scotland. The event includes BYO soil & soil analysis session and looking at the most vital asset on your farm: SOIL. Discussing soil analysis, hysical soil assessment, taking appropriate remedial action & answering your soil related questions.

Free of charge to farmers and land managers & £40.00 plus VAT to others. Booking is required, so lunch & packs can be provided. For further information please call Lyn 07899791748 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Funded by The Scottish Government & The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with partner funding from QMS, Forestry Commission Scotland & Duchy Future Farming.


Soil Muck and Money

Wednesday 1st June, Beaquoy Farm, Dounby, Orkney

The event is kindly supported by William Shearer and is a practical event looking at soil, grassland management, making best use of FYM and slurry for optimum production. Organised and hosted by the Soil Association Scotland, speakers include James Bretherton, AgScope and Iain Eadie, Germinal UK Ltd. Free of charge to farmers and land managers and £40.00 plus VAT to others.

The event will be run in the morning (10am–1pm) and repeated in the afternoon (2pm–5pm). Booking is required, so lunch & packs can be provided. For further information please call Lyn on 07899 791748 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Funded by The Scottish Government & The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with partner funding from QMS, Forestry Commission Scotland & Duchy Future Farming.


Horticulture: a one-day course for crofters and small producers

Wednesday 11th May, Glendale, Isle of Skye, 9.30am-4pm

A practical one-day event looking at soils, fertilisers and rotations for horticultural crops, organised by the Soil Association. The day will include outdoor practical sessions including soil physical assessment, crop rotations for polytunnels, and placement of windbreaks and shelters.

Speakers include Audrey Litterick (Audrey Litterick Consulting) and Donald Murdie (Gatrigill), authors of Horticulture: A Handbook for Crofters.

The event is free to land managers; £40 + VAT to others.

Booking is required for catering purposes. Contact David on 0131 666 2474 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more info.