Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Crofting reform - 2

<![CDATA[ A tentative foray into the thorny issue of crofting reform.

The current situation eats at the very root of the institution of crofting. Back in 1886, legislation was put into place to safeguard security of tenure for crofters. Following an uprising in Skye, where the people of Braes turned on police officers and the estate factor, the Napier Commission concluded that great injustice was being inflicted on the crofters of Skye and elsewhere in Scotland. Up to the mid 1880s, tenants could be evicted at the whim of a landlord, and no consideration was being given to economic and / or financial hardship.

Crofters are principally tenants on an estate, but with unlimited tenure. A croft is an agricultural unit, but not by definition with a house on it. If a bareland croft is purchased or rented, the crofter can build a house on it (an "improvement"), and a grant of about

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