Highlands & Islands

Resolution sought to Lewis grazings row

Lambs Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Common grazings are areas of land shared by crofters for raising livestock

The Crofting Commission and crofters in Mangersta on Lewis have met in an effort to resolve a dispute over the running of common grazings.

The commission, crofting's regulatory body, and the crofters disagree over the handling of finances associated with the area of land.

Crofters want to stick to a set up which sees money generated from the grazings going into a joint fund.

The commission said the fund does not fit with crofting regulations.

It has asked that money instead be distributed among crofters, who would then contribute to any improvements, such as to fences and drainage, when needed.

Following Tuesday's meeting, commissioner William Swan said both parties were working "to resolve the issues that have arisen".

Crofter Iain Buchanan said he and others were keen to maintain the Mangersta village fund. He said crofters wanted to move forward from the row.

Grazings constable

The Crofting Commission is also in a dispute with another group of crofters on Lewis.

A grazings constable has been appointed to manage common grazing at Upper Coll in a row about the accounts of the committee that managed the land but has since been dismissed by the commission.

A constable is a person appointed by the commission to administer common grazings in the absence of a committee.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption There are more than 1,000 common grazings in Scotland

Common grazings are areas of land shared by crofters and others who hold a right to graze stock on that land.

There are more than 1,000 common grazings covering at total of 500,000ha across Scotland, according to the Crofting Commission.

Grazing committees manage these areas of land and their members are elected by crofters.

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