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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

MSP Congratulates Assynt Community and Welcomes Crofting Bill

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Eleanor Scott, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has congratulated the Assynt Foundation on being granted the right to buy the Assynt mountains under the Land Reform law, and welcomed the publication of the Crofting Reform Bill, which could enable the community to establish crofts on land cleared during the Highland Clearances.

Dr Scott said, “I am pleased that Lewis MacDonald has decided to grant the community of Assynt the right to buy the land put up for sale by the Vestey family.  This is a historic decision to help this community to reverse the disenfranchisement from their land that happened during the Highland Clearances.

“The people of Assynt have already shown what they can achieve as landowners, and I am delighted that they want to take ownership of the iconic Assynt mountains.  I look forward to seeing them putting lights back on in the glens and I am optimistic about their aspiration to recreate crofts on what were traditionally croftlands.

“I hope that the community are now able to raise the necessary funds and I am happy to do my bit to support the fundraising effort.”

Noting that today the Scottish Executive has announced a consultation on the draft Crofting Reform Bill, Dr Scott said:

“We have been waiting a long time for the Crofting Reform Bill to be published, and so it is a relief to see that a draft is now available for comment.  The measures in the Bill to enable new crofts to be established are particularly important.

“New crofts will create new opportunities for rural development.  Greens believe that a sustainable future for Scotland requires more people to have access to managing our land, and crofts are a key part of that strategy.  They should not be restricted, as at present, to the Crofting Counties.”

Notes

The Assynt Foundation has launched its fundraising appeal, for details see www.assyntfoundation.com.

 

(Note: this item was originally published on Eleanor Scott’s Parliamentary website.)