Scottish Crofting Federation boss applauds government officials

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the publication of the National Development Plan for Crofting.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 8:07 am
Donald MacKinnon

“There has been a huge amount of work put into this plan, by ourselves, other representative organisations, agencies and government officials, so it is really exciting to see it emerge into the light of day” said Donald MacKinnon, chair of SCF.

“It doesn’t include everything that needs to be done, as I am sure will be pointed out, but let’s look at this as a working document that can be modified as necessary. The point is that we have a framework now that gives the direction of travel for the development of crofting, something we can work with, a large step in the right direction.

"The Scottish Government officials who led on this, who made it a participatory exercise and who did the leg-work getting it to publication stage, are to be congratulated for their efforts. It demonstrates that the Scottish Government does have a commitment to crofting.”

Mr MacKinnon added, “The publication of the National Development Plan for Crofting ties in with the publication of our ‘SCF Proposals for Manifestos’, a broad outline of what we want to see in the next session of government, whoever leads it. We encourage all crofters to read both of these documents and to feel welcome in letting us know what they think.

“The context in which a National Development Plan such as this is developed constantly changes. The point at which it gets published is a snapshot in time, but has to envisage the future. The sections in this document certainly capture the spirit of the time and the intentions for the future. We are particularly enthused with the emphasis placed on crofting’s contribution to population retention, climate change mitigation and increasing biodiversity, as well as its production of high-quality food. We feel that these are the important aspects that crofting really has a head start on.

“Crofting is coming into its time, a new era where the smaller, sustainable land unit once more has its place. We aim to see unused crofts becoming available again, and passed on to the younger generation, the creation of new crofts and the roll-out of crofting tenure across all of Scotland. This is not an unrealistic aspiration.”