Tractor in the outer Isles


Patrick Krause comment on Brian Wilson Article

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Sir,

I agree with Brian Wilson (WHFP 19th February) that Sir Crispin Agnew does indeed have some bizarre views on crofting. In a recent case before the Scottish Land Court, he asserted that a landlord could, without compensation, deprive crofters of their common grazing rights so long as they retained sufficient land for their soumings. With form like that it comes as no surprise when Sir Crispin questions tenancy, and by implication advocates the dismantling of the entire system of crofting tenure in favour of a de-regulated free-hold model of land tenure such as occurred in Ireland.

To read the full article please download the PDF below:


Brian Wilson writes in The West Highland Free Press

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am grateful to Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, chief of the Clan Agnew and Rothesay Herald to the Lord Lyon King of Arms, QC and acknowledged expert on crofting law.

And for why? Well, old Crispers has roused me from my slumber induced by the latest Crofting Reform Bill. As I confessed a few weeks ago,there have been so many Crofting Reform Bills that a degree of fatigue had set in.

But Sir Crispin's evidence to the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament has sounded the necessary wake-up call. Maybe it is indeed time for one last stand in defence of crofting tenure and the perpetual, insidious efforts of the past 40 years to legislate it out of existence.

For the full article please download the PDF below ..........



Monday, February 15, 2010

SCF Parliamentary Spokesman Norman Leask said, “The reprieve of this essential and valued scheme is welcome, as is the news of improvements at Balrobert, which will benefit the staff there, the animals and the users of the scheme. There is a real danger, however, that a reduction in the scheme will lead to the cost per bull becoming prohibitive and so lead to further decline.”

Mr. Leask went on to praise the work of the Bull Scheme Review Group chaired by Sarah Allen. “The review group went out and listened to crofters. Their report is thorough and comprehensive. They have once and for all debunked the suggestion that the support was in breach of EU rules, and they have set out irrefutably the scale of the social, economic and environmental losses that would have ensued had the scheme been scrapped. Yet despite this the stay of execution is only temporary. The Minister has made her intensions clear. I doubt that this is the last we will hear of moves to undermine and ultimately destroy this support for cattle rearing in Scotland’s most fragile and remote areas.”


SCF evidence to the RAEC

Monday, February 08, 2010

SCF Evidence to the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee of the Scottish Parliament regarding the Crofting Reform Bill as introduced 09 December 2009

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Crofting Reform Bill as introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 09 December 2009. This evidence is in addition to the response the SCF submitted to the draft Crofting Reform Bill consultation, much of which is still relevant. There are many issues that could be raised but for the sake of brevity we focus on our most pressing concerns.



Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has called on the Scottish Government to explain in full to crofters the implications of changing from fixed to variable interest rates on their croft house loans. SCF director Donald MacDonald said, “We don’t want to appear to be looking a gift horse in the mouth, and the cut in interest rates is of course welcome, but interest rates can go up as well as down. Many of us can remember interest rates as high as 15% and in these uncertain economic times it is not unthinkable that lenders will start to recoup losses by increasing interest on loans. We really need to know how much above base rate borrowers will be charged, and how often the Scottish Government will review the interest rate. As things stand, crofters do not have enough information to make a decision to move away from the fixed rate.”