The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has issued a warning to crofters to watch out for predatory practices by ‘experts’ regarding the Crofting Register.
“The year of voluntary registration of crofts ended 31st November,” said SCF Chair, Derek Flyn, “and we now move into the next phase which is still voluntary but now also compulsory under certain circumstances.
“We have been receiving unsettling reports of crofters receiving letters from ‘professional advisors’ implying that registration is now completely compulsory, crofts must be digitally mapped and that the services of a ‘professional’ will be needed. This is not the case.
“Crofters can still voluntarily register a map of their croft but will now have to submit a map of their croft only if they trigger an event that requires Crofting Commission approval, for example, the assignation or division of a croft.”
Mr Flyn continued: “We have spent much time working with Registers of Scotland (RoS), who hold the Crofting Register. In most cases crofters can mark their own boundaries on a map supplied by RoS and there is no necessity to employ anyone to do this. Unless there is a serious boundary dispute there is no need for a lawyer to be involved. Problems can be avoided by crofters talking to their neighbours and preferably drawing maps as a community.
“Companies touting for business, who imply that their services are urgently needed, are being disingenuous,” Flyn concluded.
“We urge crofters to take advice from the Scottish Crofting Federation, Registers of Scotland or the Crofting Commission before employing anyone peddling services in this way.”