Tractor in the outer Isles


Invitation to Tender

Thursday, August 25, 2011



The Skye & Lochalsh area has now been without abattoir facilities for nearly 20 years, apart from a brief experiment with a mobile slaughterhouse. This results in journeys of up to three and a half hours to Dingwall or Grantown abattoir or a ferry crossing to Lochmaddy. This is questionable on grounds of animal welfare, bio-security and food miles. The situation has recently deteriorated further due to the curtailment of the delivery service provided by John M. Munro Ltd.

Local meat supply currently consists of finished lambs supplied to Dingwall abattoir by Skye & Lochalsh Meat Supply Group and retailed by Mr. George MacRae’s butchery business; beef, lamb and pork produced and retailed by Early Bird Enterprises at Orbost; Moyle Meats at Glenelg; Mr. W. Currie’s farm and shop at Ardvasar; and a number of individual crofters supplying meat direct to customers.


Residential Course for Aspiring Crofters

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Scottish Crofting Federation has been helping new and would be crofters to make a strong start in crofting for over 10 years through its Entry Level Crofting Induction Course. For the first time this year the course will be offered in a residential version, in response to the demand from people who would like to take the course but live some distance from the evening course locations.

The residential course will take place in Inverness during November this year, by condensing the standard 10 week course into an intense 2 day period. This option is already proving popular with enquiries coming in from potential participants based throughout Scotland, from Orkney to Edinburgh.


Woodland Crofts Progress Report

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Progress Report to the Woodland Crofts Implementation Group
July 2011
Jamie McIntyre
Woodland Crofts Project Officer
HIE Community Assets Team

WCO report 2011.pdf

Nominations for Appointment of SCF Directors

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Each year one third of the SCF Board of Directors need to be replaced by rotation. Also directors retire for other reasons and need to be replaced. The normal number serving on the board is 8 or 9 (a maximum of 12 is allowed) and presently that number is 6; thus there are vacancies for 2 - 5 directors. Under the Company’s Articles (Art. 10) no new directors may be appointed unless they are each:

(a) Proposed by the Area Representatives Council, or

(b) Proposed by ten ordinary members, or

(c) Nominated by the existing board of directors

In respect to (a) and (b) above members and Area Representatives are urged to seek suitable candidates to indicate their willingness to serve as a director of the SCF’s board of directors. The position is not an onerous one but carries with it the responsibility of initiating company policy, attending to company business and general governance. There are four face-to-face meetings a year augmented by occasional teleconferences. A travel and subsistence allowance is paid for attending meetings away from home. Names of candidates, who must also be members of SCF, should be submitted in writing, to SCF HQ by not later than 19th September 2011.

Company Secretary 1st August 2011

SCF Annual Gathering - October 2011

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

SCF Annual Gathering- October 2011
"1886 and all that"
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig,
Sleat, Isle of Skye

3rd and 4th of October 2011
(lunchtime to lunchtime)

The theme of the Annual Gathering this year will be crofting land tenure: past, present and future.

It is appropriate that the gathering should return to Skye, after a break of almost 10 years, as 2011 is the 125th Anniversary of the Crofters Act 1886. It was Skye where crofters discontent at their ill-treatment rose into a mass protest and became a national scandal and names like the battle of the Braes and the Glendale martyrs entered Scottish consciousness. In 1886 the Crofters Act was passed through Parliament and the crofting community for the first time had the rights and regulated land tenure which we still value today.

After 125 years crofting is still a form of landholding which is recognised as being the "glue that holds the community together" in some of the most remote and fragile areas of Britain and many believe that this land tenure should be introduced to the rest of Scotland to re-populate the rural areas that have been cleared by industrial agriculture.

There will be speakers on crofting history, crofting community and culture; the formation of crofting regulated tenure, other forms of land tenure (including the Glendale "Irish" example and agricultural tenancies), community ownership, use of common grazings and the current crofting law in regards to land tenure. Young Crofters will be meeting to discuss what they feel are the needs and aspirations of their generation and there will be plenty of time for open discussion on issues such as regulated versus non-regulated systems, owner-occupancy versus tenancy, what is needed to sustain crofting tenure and, yes, the big question, what is best for rural Scotland. But not all work: children from throughout the Crofting islands will be performing the poetry and song of their island ancestors and the Young Crofters will be organising a ceilidh after the celebrated SCF dinner. And, no doubt, the craic will be good.

Contact SCF HQ on 01599 530 005 to reserve your place.

Please buy your tickets here.

Annual_Gathering.pdf (1.0 mbs)

Gathering Programme

Renewable Energy and Beef Scheme Announcements

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the announcement by Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead of a strategy to assist crofters and farmers to benefit from renewable energy development. SCF Chair Eleanor Arthur said, “Undoubtedly there are great opportunities for individual crofters, and for crofting communities, in renewables development. However the picture is fragmented and confusing with many pitfalls to be overcome. We hope the Agri-renewables Strategy will bring assistance with finance, simplified planning procedures, and access to the electricity grid for small-scale projects. As Mr. Lochhead says, this is a steep learning curve for all of us. What we need above all is impartial advice on the options.”