Tractor in the outer Isles

News

Balance needed between crofting and wildlife says Crofting Federation

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Scottish Crofting Federation has recently carried out an online survey about conflicts between wildlife and crofting, which demonstrates that there are some wildlife species whose numbers are threatening crofting incomes and livestock welfare.

Scottish Crofting Federation’s agriculture spokesman, Russell Smith, commented, “We have had a lot of feedback from members recently on the effects of the increasing numbers of geese, of incursions by deer and of predation by sea eagles, so we launched a survey to get at the facts. Read more .......

SCF meetings find potential for crofting after Brexit

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Scottish Crofting Federation has just concluded a short tour of membership meetings in Lewis and Shetland which had as their theme ‘Threats to Crofting’. A very encouraging turnout and intense degree of engagement at the meetings keenly illustrated the high level of concern amongst crofters.

Read more here ...

Job Opportunities Gaining Ground Project Manager and Project Administrator

Friday, February 01, 2019

​Gaining Ground

The Scottish Crofting Federation is pleased to announce that it has been successful in its application to Highland and Moray LEADER to run a co-operation project within these regions. The project will run until March 2020 and will introduce the concept of “green care” i.e. the promotion of social, mental and physical wellbeing through working of the land. The project will be aimed at both crofters and smallholders living in the Highland and Moray regions, some of whom have expressed an interest in developing a formal network and who are looking for support on how to enter this new labour market as a diversification opportunity. Read more here….

Gaining Ground Project Manager

Job Description and Person Specification

Gaining Ground Project Administrator

Job Description and Person Specification

Vacancy Information for applicants

Closing date for both posts is Friday, 15th February 2019. Enquiries to Sandra 01599 530005 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Crofting Federation appoints new chair

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Yvonne White, a crofter from Kingsburgh on the Isle of Skye, has been appointed to lead the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF). At a board and council meeting held in Inverness last Friday, two new vice-chairs were also nominated and approved.

“It is a great honour to be appointed to this important role” said Yvonne White, the new chair of SCF, “and not a little daunting. I have to fill the shoes of our immediate past chair, Russell Smith, and also follow on from an impressive line of previous chairs. However, they have all helped to build a vibrant federation that is the only organisation solely dedicated to fighting for crofting. We have our work cut out but we have a strong team to represent our members.” Read more here…...

Crofting Federation assured by government that less favoured area support will be maintained

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has received assurance from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, that he is absolutely committed to maintaining Less Favoured Area Support at 80% of the 2018 funding level for the next financial years 2019 and 2020.

“Less Favoured Area payments (LFASS) are vital for those of us in the Highlands & Islands who face natural constraints,” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation, “so the prospect of this support being cut to 80% in 2019 and then to only 40% in 2020 was unthinkable. Read more here…

Crofting must get support for disadvantage, warns Federation

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) warns that crofting is seriously threatened by the drastic cuts to Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS) announced by the Scottish Government.

“Reducing the Less Favoured Areas support to 80% of current rates for 2019 sends out a very negative message, but we can live with it”, SCF Chair, Russell Smith, stated, “but to then cut it to a mere 40% for 2020 will be ruinous. The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, has consistently said that further proposed cuts would be “unacceptable” and that he would fight them. Being told now that this vital support to crofters will be reduced to 40% next year is a slap in the face to us in the less favoured areas and indicates failure on the part of Scottish Government. Read more here ......

Crofters wary about the future

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A survey of crofters’ attitudes taken this month by the Scottish Crofting Federation shows that crofters are wary of the future of the livestock industry in the Highlands and Islands.

Only 14% of respondents are confident about the future, as compared to more than twice that number who are despondent (31%). Fifty five per cent said they were uncertain, citing Brexit and the knock-on effect that might have on prices and support payments. Read more here

Crofting Cabinet Secretary upbeat on future at Federation event

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy attended the Spirit of Crofting event in Rothes, Moray on Friday 5th October. Mr. Ewing gave an upbeat speech about the immediate outlook for crofting – despite the looming ‘bùrach’, as he called it, of Brexit.

“He reminded us at the outset about the extent to which crofters’ rights had to be fought for,” said SCF’s chair Russell Smith, “touching on the Battle of the Braes and the memorial to the returning servicemen’s struggle for land in Upper Coll, Lewis, that he visited recently. The years of struggle for land rights are still fresh in the minds of many in the Crofting Counties, and we must not forget this in reforming the legislation. But Mr Ewing was here to ‘celebrate that indomitable crofting spirit’ and the ‘commitment, passion, determination and fortitude shown by a very special community of people, unique to Scotland - the crofting community’.

Read more . . .

Federation event celebrates the role of young people in crofting

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) was delighted to recognise young crofters with an awards ceremony at the ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting’ event in Rothes, Moray last Friday.The ‘Euan MacRae Best Crofting Newcomer Award’ is for new entrants with a keen interest in the land who may have made a start in crofting or are on the road to doing so. This award is named after Euan MacRae of Drumbeg, Sutherland, a young and infectiously enthusiastic crofter who sadly passed away in summer 2017 just after his 19th birthday.

The ‘Young Crofter of the Year Award’ is aimed at those aged 40 and under who have taken their first steps on the crofting ladder or have established themselves in crofting, and are good examples of best practice and success within their field.

Read more . . .

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Crofting Federation calls on the Comhairle to provide concrete assurances on abattoir provision in Stornoway

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) calls on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to provide reassurance to the crofting community of Lewis and Harris, following a report before the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources committee on the 2nd October which outlined proposals for the sale of the current Stornoway abattoir site to a developer and the, apparently unplanned,relocation of the service.

Read more

New Zealand leader of women in agriculture visits Scotland

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Lindy Nelson, the CEO of the New Zealand Agri-Women`s Development Trust, will be speaking at Dewars Centre, Perth on Thursday 4 October 2018 at 19:30.

2013 Business Woman of the Year, named by Primary Magazine as one of the top ten women in agriculture and Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agriculture and women, Lindy Nelson is a sheep and beef farmer regarded by many as a visionary leader. She is currently visiting Scotland. The full press release including details of how to book for this event can be found here.

Lindy Nelson will also be addressing the SCF Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting event in Rothes this Friday. Limited tickets are available here.

Crofting Federation announces short-list of nominations for young crofter awards

Friday, September 14, 2018

Next month, two awards will be made by the Scottish Crofting Federation following a call for nominations for Young Crofter of the Year and Best Newcomer Crofter 2018. The drive for the award is the Year of Young People 2018 and as such will celebrate the role of young people in crofting.

The awards will be made at a special dinner which will be held during the Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting event on 5th October 2018 at Rothes, Moray and presented by Mel Irivine of Drummuir, one of the stars of BBC TV “This Farming Life”.

Read more

Payments transition an opportunity to get things right for Crofting says SCF

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has emphasised in its response to the government ‘Stability and Simplicity’ consultation that change is urgently needed in the agricultural and rural development payments regime in order to get a fair deal for crofters.

Read full article here…

To read the full consultation response, click here.

Advance payment scheme could be a life-saver says Crofting Federation

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Scottish Government advance payment scheme to help cash-flow for crofters and farmers affected by adverse weather conditions is welcomed by the Scottish Crofting Federation.

“The National Basic Payment Support Scheme announced by Scottish Government could help some croft businesses that have been hit by the weather extremes and consequent high feed prices” said Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation. “Realistically, some crofters are worrying about how they will survive in the coming months with the knock-on from a protracted winter then lack of grass due to drought.” Read more here…..

Scottish Crofting Federation welcomes HIE and Crofting Commission collaboration promise

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Following HIE and the Crofting Commission’s announcement at the Black Isle Show that they aim to work collaboratively to further support crofting, SCF chair Russell Smith commented: “The Scottish Crofting Federation welcomes all support for crofting as it can only benefit our members. Since the crofting development role was transferred to HIE from the Crofting Commission, support has been concentrated on community development rather than purely on crofting matters.

“This move may herald more focus on crofting, which provides the bedrock for many communities in the north and west. Without crofting there might not be a community at all in some places, as population drifts away to the towns. As Mr Ewing says, ‘a successful crofting sector helps our rural communities to thrive’. Read more here…..