Reading about Jeremy Gow’s treatment by the Crofting Commission (your report, 15 October) prompted me to write on this subject.
As Mr Gow has ownership of his croft house, surely the four acres of land which makes up the croft holding is of limited use to anyone else.
As there would be no house with the land, it would not support an incoming third party, and could only be added to an existing croft holding or a larger farm. Surely the land could be rented out to enable it to be worked, while still being retained by Mr Gow.
All the Gows from the Tongue area can be traced back to a John Gow, originally from Scrabster, who moved to be a ploughman at Melness farm in the late 1700s.
He settled in a croft at Skinnet, in the Parish of Tongue, and his descendants are now scattered throughout the world.
It would be a disgrace if the present day Mr Gow was disposessed of his croft land and it was handed over to increase someone else’s land holding, thus ending a traditional occupation of the land of some 220 odd years. The Crofting Commission is acting in the same manner as the Duchess of Sutherland by throwing people off their traditional land holdings in favour of larger farming enterprises.
How many Scottish estates are owned by foreign nationals? Who tells them what to do with their land holdings? Certainly not the Scottish Government.
Time to give the small man due right to his traditional croft.
Andrew K Gow
Gullane, East Lothian
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