Tractor in the outer Isles


Crofting Federation Delight at Raasay U-turn

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has expressed its delight at the Scottish Government’s decision announced today to restore the shooting and fishing rights on the Isle of Raasay to the island’s crofters.

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Crofting Commission Called on to Re-assure Owner-Occupier Crofters

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) have called on the Crofting Commission to sort out the confusion regarding a legislation glitch that has caused the commission to cease processing owner-occupier applications to decroft their house-site, with the utmost urgency.

Derek Flyn, chair of the SCF, said “This problem has not suddenly appeared. It is part of the 2010 Crofting Reform Act. The SCF brought it to the attention of Crofting Commission several weeks ago but they have told us nothing about how and when it will be resolved; only that owner-occupier crofter applications will not be processed. This has serious consequences for people getting a mortgage, trying to build their house. What are they to do?”


SCF Call for U-turn on Raasay Shooting Rights

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has called for the Scottish Government to reverse its decision to deprive the community on the Isle of Raasay of their shooting and fishing rights, which has been in the hands of a co-operative of crofters on the island for almost twenty years. Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse last week defended the decision of the Government, as landlord of the island, to award the lease to an Ayrshire-based company on the grounds that it was ‘the best value for Scotland’.

SCF Chair, Derek Flyn said, “When we were the Scottish Crofters Union, our organisation was instrumental in getting the fishing and shooting rights into the control of the crofting community. We are therefore stunned that all the benefit this brought to Raasay has been undone by the stroke of a pen of a faceless civil servant in Edinburgh. The ‘best value’ the Minister refers to is in fact in the region of a few thousand pounds per year. This small sum will be far outstripped by the damage done to the island’s economy.”


SRDP Discussion paper

Monday, February 04, 2013

This report is produced to provide relevant information to the Scottish Government on the issues for crofting in the context of Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) development 2014-20 and to present recommendations for a future SRDP. Stakeholders involved in discussing and/or compiling this paper were: The Crofting Commission; with input from Scottish Crofting Federation; National Farmers Union Scotland (Crofting Committee); Scottish Natural Heritage; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; HIE; Scottish Landed Estates; and the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism.

Executive Summary
The decision in 2003 by the European Union to decouple CAP support from production has had a detrimental impact on agricultural activity and a decline in the agricultural contribution to the economy in peripheral, often fragile areas of Scotland.

The key singular message being conveyed is the public benefit which crofting has the potential to deliver in terms of agricultural, social, economic, environmental, and landscape measures, with potential to also enhance tourism, housing, carbon reduction and cultural measures. In recent years, various studies have suggested that crofting faces serious issues, with declining use of both inbye and common grazings land, evidenced by a reduction in livestock and a historic reduction in cropping. At the same time, crofting has seen a very low uptake of SRDP funding, despite the fact that the programme had specific measures to benefit crofting and small units.
Various studies indicate that crofters demonstrate a desire to continue crofting, even when the economic returns are poor or negligible; however there is less appetite to continue crofting when the activity actually costs the crofter. Additionally, at a socio-economic level, many of the areas where crofting takes place are designated as fragile due to multiple deprivation. Many of the most remote areas are seeing a significant decline in the primary industries of agriculture, fishing and forestry, as well as significant population loss or migration towards larger centres, and unsustainable demographic changes.

It appears that with comparatively low levels of support, crofters are willing to continue delivering the public benefits which crofting brings. However, without targeted, easy to access and relevant support, the indications are that crofting will continue to decline, with a concomitant loss of skills and infrastructure, making it more difficult for crofting to recover in the future. The loss of active crofting through a failure to provide targeted support would result in a significant loss of public benefit.

The report addresses the why there is a need for a programme for crofting and the how in making recommendations.

srdp.ppt - powerpoint presentation