2014-10-20  

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Contributing to the Future of Crofting

The Crofting Commission is carrying out an unprecedented data gathering exercise across the crofting community.

Following the implementation of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, the Crofting Commission has a duty to issue an annual notice to all tenant and owner-occupier crofters, which will be known as the Crofting Census.

Scottish Crofting

In October 2014 over 18,000 Crofting Census forms were 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 completion deadline on 16 January 2015.

The Crofting Commission is asking for information on what crofters do with their croft and any common grazing share. This will help to establish a clear picture of the current state of crofting and enable the Commission to use the information to advise the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Parliament and other agencies of the value of crofting and its contribution to life in Scotland. With the information provided, the Commission will be able to better understand and raise issues facing the future of crofting.

The Commission is promoting self-regulation and the census will allow crofters to better understand their responsibilities in fulfilling their duties. Self-regulation provides more control and management over their croft and community.

Susan Walker, Convener for the Crofting Commission commented
"Crofting is a form of land tenure unique to Scotland and one we should be proud of, with the potential to be a major driver for economic, social and cultural growth. Regulation is there to protect this precious asset for present and future generations. The Census will highlight various possibilities available to crofters in complying with their duties and the Commission will be on hand to advise on the options they may wish to consider."

Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
"If we are to ensure the best policies are developed to guarantee a sustainable, prosperous and exciting future for our crofting and crofters, it is essential we have as accurate an understanding of the current profile of crofting and crofters wellbeing. I welcome the action in gathering this information from crofters across the country.

The data taken from this exercise will contribute towards optimising Scottish Government crofting policies and the work of the Crofting Commission in effectively regulating crofting and delivering a bright future for crofting for generations to come - something we all want to see."

The annual Crofting Census will allow the Commission to gather an evidence base which will grow year on year, helping to develop the case for crofting. The Census allows crofters to contribute to shaping the future of their crofting community. Crofters are urged by the Commission to make their contribution count by ensuring that they complete and return the census forms.

The Census is a record of activity on every croft across Scotland and a form must be completed for each croft held. As Catriona MacLean, Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission explains;
"The Crofting Census will increase information gathered from crofters and owner-occupier crofters enabling us to work together. The Census will allow the Commission to show the value of crofting not only to the Scottish economy, but also in building sustainable communities and contributing to population retention. The Census forms are quick and easy to complete and come with comprehensive guidance notes. The Commission has set up a dedicated helpline to support crofters in completing their Census forms and full details, including FAQs, can be found on the website"

Crofting Commission

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