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Crofting Commission emphasise the role of grazings committees in representing shareholders


The Crofting Commission is emphasising the important role of grazings committees in representing shareholders and maintaining and improving common grazings.

Grazings committees play a crucial part in the crofting system and in the effective shared management of common grazings across the crofting counties.  It is therefore important for grazings committees to have, and follow, clear grazings regulations to safeguard the future of common grazing land for the benefit of all crofters.  Vice-Convener of the Crofting Commission, I G Macdonald explains:

“I have been a grazings clerk for more than thirty years and I understand the importance of committees operating within their own agreed regulations to ensure efficient running of the grazings by both the committee and shareholders.

“The role of a grazings committee is to run the grazings on behalf of shareholders through the planning of maintenance and improvement work in line with the Crofting Acts and their regulations, and managing the finance and accounts on behalf of shareholders.  As such, income received by the committee belongs to shareholders and should be distributed to them.  An appropriate balance may be retained in the shareholders account for planned maintenance or agreed improvement works.  Sound administration and accounting for money by the grazings clerk will enable funds to be dispersed in to crofting communities and contribute to the rural economy.

“We hope that by encouraging clearer regulations and clarifying areas of the legislation, that committees will feel confident in the management of their grazings.  The Commission intends to provide training to clerks in this regard.

“As the regulator of crofting we must uphold the law and when shareholders raise concerns to the Commission we must examine the actions of a grazings committee in more detail.  We then have a duty to take action on the findings of investigations and, working with shareholders, find a resolution. 

“The Board of the Commission want to safeguard common grazings as they are such a valuable asset to the crofting system.  We were elected into post by crofters and we are committed to working with crofters and stakeholders by providing clear direction on regulations, policy and the Crofting Acts.  We understand that a vast majority of grazings committees and their clerks are doing the best they can and we are here to help”

The Crofting Commission is on hand to support and advise crofters, grazings clerks and grazings committees on the options available to them.  Further guidance for grazings committees will be available in the near future.  For more information visit


Covid -19

The Commission is now accepting new applications, but as all staff continue to work from home and the office remains closed, these will be processed more slowly than usual. Any applications that relate to statutory deadlines, or which concern a Crofting Register form to notify the Commission that an event has taken place, will be given priority over other applications.

Where applications require a site visit, it will not be possible for any site visit to be carried out until the government eases the current restrictions on movement.Where any application involves a hearing, no hearings will take place until the current restrictions on movement are eased and the government has advised that public meetings (with appropriate physical distancing) can take place.

Approved Applications:

If you are a crofter who has had an application approved by the Commission within the last 3 months
Please read this important information regarding effecting Commission regulatory decisions.

You can continue to contact us by email and although we are now in a position to deal with phone calls to our reception line, few staff have access to work phones to make return calls and therefore the service will be limited. We would therefore ask that you continue to contact us via email. You can of course continue to use the mobile numbers on the Contact Us page of this website to speak with us.

The Commission understands that this is a difficult time for all concerned, but we wish to reassure crofters and their agents that we will continue to work to restore normal levels of service. It is unlikely that this can be fully restored until the government permits offices to reopen and for various restrictions on movements and meetings to be eased.
20 May 2020.

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



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