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Crofting

Crofting is a system of landholding which is unique to Scotland and is an integral part of life in the Highlands & Islands.  Crofting can deliver a wealth of benefits to crofters and the crofting community in the Highlands and Islands and other designated parts of Scotland.

A croft is a relatively small agricultural land holding which is normally held in tenancy and which may or may not have buildings or a house associated with it. Crofts range in size from less than 1/2 hectare (ha) to more than 50ha but an average croft is nearer 5ha. There are legislative Duties which crofters must comply with these are:

  • A duty to be a resident on, or within 32 kilometres of, their croft
  • A duty not to neglect their croft
  • A duty to cultivate and maintain their croft or to put it to another purposeful use

The Crofting Commission are on hand to support and advise crofters on the various options available to them in complying with their duties.

There are 20,566  crofts with 14,898 tenanted crofts and 5,668 are owned. .  Usually, the crofter holds the croft on the "statutory conditions", which apply to every croft tenancy, and will not have a written lease. Some croft land is now owned because the former tenants have bought that land. There is no control over changes in ownership of croft land, although there is a statutory obligation to advise the Commission, but every change in the tenancy of a croft is regulated by the Commission.

Assignation is a term used in crofting to describe the permanent transfer of a tenancy from one person to another. In a normal year 200 to 300 croft tenancies are assigned. In over half of these the current crofter passes the croft to a member of their family and the majority of the remaining tenancies are transferred to people already known to the crofter. Given the demand we know exists for crofts, we understand the frustration which the lack of available land can produce.

Having said that a number of crofts do come onto the open market each year. Prospective crofters can look for tenancies in local newspapers or may contact crofting solicitors or estate agents to register their interest. Some have found a croft by placing a 'wanted' advertisement in the relevant local newspaper.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) is compiling a list of those interested in acquiring a croft and will provide information on how to find a croft and vacant crofts available. If you wish to be in this initiative please contact hq@crofting.org   T:01599 530005.

This is only the beginning of the process. Obtaining a croft tenancy is at least as difficult as buying a particular house in a sellers’ market. There are also certain legal requirements.  The Commission does not own crofts and cannot act as an agent for anyone seeking a croft.

New Assessors Panel

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to came along to our Roadshows. Remember applications for the role of Assessor must be returned to the Commission by 8 January. If you would like to know more about the role of an Assessor feel free to get in touch, we'd be delighted to hear from you. T:01463 663439 E:info@crofting.scotland.gov.uk

Crofting Commission, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness, IV3 8NW 

T: 01463 663439

info@crofting.scotland.gov.uk

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