Tractor in the outer Isles


Anomaly of Uk Government Stance on Indigenous People Highlighted

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Scottish Crofting Foundation will present the research project “Crofters; Indigenous People of the Highlands and Islands” at the Parliamentary Crofting Cross Party Group today (27th). The report looks at parallels between Highland crofters and Norwegian Sami and some of the political implications of indigenous status.

Indigenous Peoples legislation has developed in response to the oppression of peoples' language, culture and way of life in colonial and postcolonial societies worldwide. Throughout the world recognition is growing and many indigenous people, including the Sami of north Norway, Sweden and Finland, now have their own elected representatives to determine policies that relate to their way of life.


Indigenous People

Thursday, February 21, 2008


How the United Nations can help promote the distinctive culture of the Scottish Highlands is the subject of a report being launched at the Scottish Parliament next week by the Scottish Crofting Foundation.
Specifically, the report looks at whether crofters can be considered the indigenous people of the Highlands and Islands and what benefits indigenous status would bring to the area.

After generations of summary eviction from their ancestral lands, crofters won the right to live in perpetuity on their crofts in 1886. Administration of the crofting system is carried out by the Crofters Commission, a quango administered by the Scottish Executive and mandated by Scottish Government ministers. The Scottish Crofting Foundation has been examining aspects of United Nations legislation on indigenous peoples to consider how it might apply in a Highland context.


Future Farmer Award

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Future Farmer Award is a new initiative funded by the Elizabeth Murray Trust. Each year a trailblazing Scottish farmer will be given £4,000 and a package of practical support to help them promote their ideas to other farmers and land managers.

Applications for the Future Farmer Award are welcome from anyone farming in Scotland who is keen to inspire others to try practical ideas for improving the environmental sustainability of farming. The type of approach which the Future Farmer Award seeks to promote include:

  • Minimizing downstream flooding by managing soils and vegetation to slow rainwater run-off;
  • Using traditional breeds of livestock with characteristics which make the animals well adapted to the particular farm;
  • Integrating native woodland management with grazing livestock;
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of a farm by reducing inputs and developing local markets to minimize the food miles of produce sold;
  • Developing new ideas for productive and sustainable management of hill land;
  • Creating the right conditions for commercially useful 'wild' plants to grow;
  • Other ideas, new or old, which could improve the environmental sustainability of farming in Scotland.

The Award will be launched in January 2008 and entries should be submitted between then and the 14th April 2008. See here for more information about the award scheme and here for the application form.


Grey Lag Geese Totals Needed

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Anyone in the Western Isles who has been shooting Greylag geese in the open season is reminded to let the local Department office know the total number shot.
Ena MacDonald, Scottish Crofting Foundation past-chair, said, “We raised the problem of goose damage with Michael Russell, the Environment Minister, when he visited Uist last summer and a study of the population of resident greylags is now under way.