Woodland crofts are an opportunity for individuals and communities to build lives and livelihoods based on a woodland resource. They are governed by a combination of crofting legislation and forest regulation, linking housing, local rural livelihoods and woodland management.
The Crofting Reform Act 2007 amended the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 to allow new crofts to be created within the crofting counties and in other parts of Scotland in areas designated by an order made by Ministers. Applications to create new crofts must be made to the Crofters Commission by the owner of the land, which could be a community organisation such as a community woodland group.
The exact nature and extent of woodland management is not prescribed, and there is considerable flexibility for individual woodland croft tenants to manage their crofts to meet their own needs and aspirations. However, the approach to management taken by woodland crofters is expected to deliver increased social, economic and environmental benefits.
A new woodland croft website http://www.woodlandcrofts.org/ aims to encourage, support and advise both existing and prospective woodland crofters. It brings together in one place existing information and guidance on woodland crofts, what they are and how they have come about.
Please complete the Woodland Crofts Registration Form, see list of documents below, if you wish to be included in the register of people seeking a woodland croft. As woodland crofts are only available in the Highlands & Islands it is aimed primarily at residents of this area & those wishing to move here. However there is space within the form to indicate your interest in similar models of woodland tenure outwith the Highlands and Islands.
New HIE Publication ‘Supporting Crofting Communities’
The attached publication has been produced to offer a comprehensive overview of how HIE works in partnership with other bodies which support individual crofters and crofting activity, to ensure that crofting communities continue to thrive and become more resilient. The document also illustrates - and signposts to - the extensive support for crofters, crofting communities and the crofting system provided through a broad range of public and third sector organisations. The publication is available to view and download from HIE’s website at the following link: http://www.hie.co.uk/community-support/community-crofting/default.html