The Scottish Crofting Federation have warned that the Scottish Government plan for a compulsory register of croft-land could lead to many traditional
crofting rights being lost.
The proposal for a Register of Crofts to be compiled and held by Registers of Scotland is part of the controversial Crofting Reform Bill which was
debated in Parliament yesterday.
Norman Leask, SCF’s Parliamentary spokesman, said "It is astonishing that the government are still doggedly going down this track, even against advice
from crofting lawyers, the experts in this field. There was also significant questioning of the need for there to be two Registers of Crofts by
the Parliamentary committee who scrutinised the Bill and by MSPs from across the parties in the debating chamber yesterday. There is an existing
register held by the Crofters Commission which needs to be completed and would benefit by up-grading to include croft maps. This will be all
that is needed and is all that crofters have asked for. But the Government is insisting that a second register needs to be compiled, at
crofters’ cost, to put crofts on to the land register, a property register held by Registers of Scotland in Edinburgh. Our legal advice
is that the Keeper of this register is highly unlikely to record all the information that is pertinent to crofts, such as grazing rights, hill
share and souming (number of livestock allowed), peat cutting rights, the position of nousts (where boats are kept), rights of access and so
on. If title is then exchanged without these rights recorded they are lost forever".
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