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New event planned after Scottish Crofting Federation gathering on access to crofts is inundated

By John Davidson

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Donald MacKinnon, chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation.
Donald MacKinnon, chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

A young crofters session aimed at finding solutions to the difficulties in getting access to crofts was so busy that the organisers are planning to hold a second online event.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) group hosted the session on Wednesday and the organisation was impressed by the numbers and the range of ideas that were offered.

Donald Mackinnon, chairman of the SCF, said the problems explored included the very high prices being asked for crofts; lack of access to finance; crofts not being made available even when not being used; inadequacies of crofting law and administration, the obstacles young folk face just trying to stay in their locality and the lack of action on creating new crofts.

“There were no great surprises about the problems we are faced with, but it was very refreshing to hear people’s ideas about how to solve them,” he said.

A further meeting of the young crofters is now being organised for March 4.

Mr MacKinnon added: “Crofting is stagnating. A radical and uniquely democratic system of land tenure that is a model, is not realising its potential.

"It is widely recognised that the number one priority for the survival of crofting is to reinvigorate succession – get crofts back into work and make crofts available to people who will croft.

"The huge response to our call to discuss this demonstrates how strongly people feel about it. It is clear that things have to change and we who do care about crofting must up the ante on our lobbying those who have the gift to make this happen – politicians, government, agencies and crofters.

"The message is clear – don’t ignore this any longer; we need action.”

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