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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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
- Support, encourage and respond positively to any request for a transfer of property to a
body representing the crofting community on the estate.
- Take account of the local community perspective when considering offers for sporting
rights on the Scottish Ministers Estates.
- Have regard to the potential for creation of local employment opportunities when
considering requests for sales or lease of land for quarrying, minerals, diversification,
- Undertake rent reviews timeously and as equitably as possible having regard to movements
in agricultural indices.
- Recognise the aims of the Crofters Commission particularly their initiative on
absenteeism and co-operate fully with the Commission on this.
Contact the Scottish Rural Affairs Department,
47 Robbs Loan,
Edinburgh EH14 1TY,
Tel: 0131 244
Fax: 0131 244 6449