Legal certainty for crofters as Scotland’s first Crofting Register is launched

Paul Wheelhouse: Crofting an important part of Scotland's history and culture
Paul Wheelhouse: Crofting an important part of Scotland's history and culture
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SCOTLAND’S first Crofting Register was launched today to give crofters legal certainty over their homes.

The register is part of the modernisation of crofting being undertaken by the Scottish Government as part of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The establishment of a definitive map-based Crofting Register will remove doubt over what is croft land and who has rights and responsibilities for that land. It will also assist the Crofting Commission in effectively regulating crofting such as tackling absenteeism and neglect.

“The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Registers of Scotland to ensure that any costs relating to the Register are kept to a minimum in order to benefit crofters. As well as meeting the full costs of developing the register a further £200,000 has been invested by the government towards the registration of croft land.”

Paul Wheelhouse, the Environment Minister, said: “Crofting is an important part of Scotland’s history and culture. The new register will provide certainty to crofters by establishing an accurate and legal record of their boundaries.

“This has been a great example of partnership working in practice. The Crofting Commission, the Registers of Scotland, and the Scottish Government have worked together to ensure that crofters have a robust register at the lowest cost possible.”

Susan Walker, the Crofting Commissioner, also welcomed the initiative.She said: “he new Crofting Register represents a significant investment in crofting, which will provide legal certainty for holders of croft land and shareholders in common grazings. The idea of community mapping has considerable potential, not only to resolve boundary disputes which might arise during the mapping process, but as a collaborative process which could lead to wider benefits such as asset mapping and township planning. The Crofting Commission welcomes the commitment by the Scottish Government to the system of crofting which the new Crofting Register represents.”