Number of crofts in Scotland reaches 2000

Skye crofter Dennis Munro leads his flock to feeding on his croft at Feorlig in 2000. Picture: Donald MacLeod
Skye crofter Dennis Munro leads his flock to feeding on his croft at Feorlig in 2000. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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A CROFT in Shetland has become the 2,000th smallholding to be registered on an online database established to offer crofters greater legal certainty over their tenancy.

The Crofting Register was established in 2012 by the Scottish Government and is overseen by the Registers of Scotland (RoS).

A sheep belonging to a crofter.

A sheep belonging to a crofter.

There are around 18,000 crofts across the country, generating an estimated £86 million annually, mainly in the Highlands and island communities.

There is a separate register for common grazing grounds, which has so far attracted 200 registrations.

The registers formed part of the modernisation of crofting undertaken by the Scottish Government under the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Crofting minister Aileen McLeod said: “The Scottish Government is doing all that it can to support a vibrant future for crofting and this fantastic milestone registration is great news for the sector.

I hope more of our 18,000 crofters will be encouraged to register in order to safeguard the industry for future generations

Aileen McLeod, crofting minister

“Crofting is vital to rural communities, economy and the environment, particularly in Scotland’s remote and fragile areas. I hope that more of our 18,000 crofters will be encouraged to register, in order to safeguard the industry for future generations.”

Janet Egdell, operations director at RoS, said: “Reaching the 2,000th registration in such a short time frame is a remarkable achievement, especially as it comes less than a year after we registered the 1,000th croft.

“I’m particularly pleased to see how many neighbours and townships are working together to facilitate the registration of their land.”

Crofting Commission chief executive, Catriona Maclean, said: “This is another significant milestone for the Crofting Register. To have reached 2,000 registered crofts and 200 registered common grazings is a notable achievement in the safeguarding of crofting for generations to come. The Commission continues to work closely with RoS, crofters and grazings committees to ensure the registration process is as smooth as possible.”

More information on the Crofting Register is available at www.crofts.ros.gov.uk