New effort to record working crofts in Scotland

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Crofters are being issued with forms which regulators will use to find out how many live on their crofts and the level of farming taking place.

The new paperwork is a result of the Crofting Reform Bill.

Absenteeism is one of the problems the Scottish government has sought to tackle using the laws passed in 2010.

At the time there were almost 2,000 absentee crofters and an unknown number of neglected crofts out of the 18,000 across the Highlands and Islands.

The regulatory body, the Crofting Commission, is sending out the forms - called the annual notice - in the post.

Murdo Maclennan, commissioner for the Western Isles, said: "The 2010 act placed two main duties on crofters - residency and activity.

"We are now getting around to issuing the annual notice which every crofter will be asked to complete.

"It will indicate what activity they are maintaining on their crofts."

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