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Estate Charter

Prepared by the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department



bulletTen Management Commitments and Principles
bulletFurther Information


Scottish Ministers own or retain an interest in 81 agricultural properties comprising some 1,400 holdings (extending to some 104,000 hectares or 256,990 acres) which are administered by Agricultural staff in the Rural Affairs Department of the Scottish Executive. About 99 percent are crofts.

The ongoing policy is to dispose of these land settlement estates either in terms of discounted prices for leasehold tenants or under the existing legislation which gives tenants of crofts the statutory right to purchase their individually occupied land. Scottish Ministers can also transfer the crofting estate to crofting trusts.

Where disposal has not been possible and property is still vested in Scottish Ministers, the objective is to maintain and manage the property through the normal landlord-tenant relationship.

Ten Management Commitments and Principles

In our management of these estates officials will continue to seek to maintain good communications and relationships with tenants, and seek to increase local community involvement in the management of the land concerned. Accordingly, in pursuance of the administration and management of the land settlement estates we shall adhere to the following commitments and principles:

  1. Recognise the right of local communities to be involved in decision making affecting the land on which they live and work and co-operate in the setting up of local management groups where this is the wish of the community.
  2. Recognise the value of the natural heritage, sustainable development and bio-diversity of the land settlement estates and consult and co-operate with tenants and communities who wish to pursue enhancement of these factors.
  3. Recognise the need for provision of land for housing and economic development in fragile areas and release land for these purposes where this is the wish of the local community.
  4. Consult with local management/consultative groups where these have been formed, on all landlord matters, which may have an impact upon tenanted land e.g. planning notifications, conservation designations, crofting regulatory cases, development matters, etc.
  5. Recognise the rights of all crofters to purchase their croft and croft lands and respond positively and timeously to such requests seeking always to produce legally accurate title.
  6. Support, encourage and respond positively to any request for a transfer of property to a body representing the crofting community on the estate.
  7. Take account of the local community perspective when considering offers for sporting rights on the Scottish Minister’s Estates.
  8. Have regard to the potential for creation of local employment opportunities when considering requests for sales or lease of land for quarrying, minerals, diversification, etc.
  9. Undertake rent reviews timeously and as equitably as possible having regard to movements in agricultural indices.
  10. Recognise the aims of the Crofters Commission particularly their initiative on absenteeism and co-operate fully with the Commission on this.

Further Information

Contact the Scottish Rural Affairs Department,
Pentland House,
47 Robb’s Loan,
Edinburgh EH14 1TY,
Tel: 0131 244
Fax: 0131 244 6449