The Crofting Commission regulates
and promotes the interests of crofting in Scotland
to secure the future of crofting.
EnglishGaelic

Croft Diversification

Crofting continues to play a significant role in establishing and sustaining populations in communities throughout the Highlands and Islands and can develop best where the wider community and region is able to grow and thrive. Growing populations and increasing income levels are particularly important to our remote communities. 

Diversification of traditional crofting activities

Diversification of traditional crofting aims to generate additional income into the croft. Diversification ideas may depend on the size and location of the croft. 

A Crofter’s Duties:

  • You must be ordinarily resident on, or within 32 kilometres of, the croft
  • you must not misuse or neglect the croft
  • you must cultivate the croft or put it to another purposeful use

Definition of Purposeful Use:

‘Purposeful use’ as mentioned above, is ‘any planned or managed use of croft land, which does not adversely affect the croft, the public interest, the interests of the landlord or owner, or the use of adjacent land’.  Diversification beyond cultivation should be purposeful use, as described. 

Purposeful Use requires the written permission of your Landlord. If the Landlord refuses permission, then a regulatory application for ‘Another Purposeful Use’ can be submitted to the Commission - Find an application form | Crofting Commission (scotland.gov.uk)

Some ideas for diversification:

Fruit & vegetable growing 

Beef, lamb, pork & venison production 

Food and drink – cafes, food trailers, food & drink production 

Tourism – guest houses, B&Bs & self-catering  

Agritourism – pods, wigwams & campsites, with access to crofting activities 

Crafts using products generated from crofting eg wool & yarn, weaving & spinning

Renewable energy 

Woodlands 

The Scottish Crofting Federation holds training courses and seminars on croft diversification where people share their stories from across the crofting counties. The SCF also holds regular training sessions on all aspects of crofting from “wool as a by product” to “agritourism”.

For further information and membership details please visit their website, by clicking on the hyperlink; Crofting Home - Scottish Crofting Federation

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