SCF urges crofters to respond to census

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has endorsed the ‘Crofting Census’ launched this week by the Crofting Commission and urges all crofters to participate.

“This is about crofters taking responsibility for the future of crofting”, said Derek Flyn, Chair of the SCF.

“Crofters enjoy substantial protection under crofting law and in return are asked to comply with basic duties, the two fundamentals being that they use their crofts and live on or near them.”

One of the obligations that have come from the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 is that the Crofting Commission has a duty to issue an annual notice to all tenant and owner-occupier crofters to gather rudimentary information on the state of crofting.

This is to be known as the ‘Crofting Census’. More than 18,000 Crofting Census forms have sent out to all crofts. Crofters are legally obliged to complete the census forms and return them to the Crofting Commission before the end of the three month deadline of 16 January 2015.

Mr Flyn continued: “The deficit in information on crofts and crofting has long been a significant hindrance to the formation of policy and development initiatives that can help crofting.

“This annual survey will gradually build up a picture of where there are problems and where crofting is working. This information will help to ensure the continuation, the strengthening and the expansion of crofting communities.

“Crofting epitomises sustainable rural communities” Flyn concluded. “The first census comes at an appropriate time with the Scottish Government consultation on ‘Becoming a Good Food Nation’ taking place now, the Land Reform Review Group’s Report having been released recently and the Scottish Rural Parliament meeting in early November. Crofting is at the heart of all these initiatives”.