Highlands & Islands

Grazings row crofters in Lewis can appoint new committee

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

Crofters in a part of Lewis can appoint a new committee "of their choice" to run one of two common grazings at the centre of a public row.

Mangersta's grazings committee and one in Upper Coll, also in Lewis, were dismissed by the Crofting Commission.

The commission, crofting's regulatory body, said finances related to the lands shared by crofters were not being managed according to the rules.

Crofters in Mangersta have now been told they can appoint a new committee.

The previous committee was dismissed and a complaint from a shareholder in the grazings was investigated.

The Crofting Commission said a grazings constable, an official it appointed, had concluded his investigation and stepped down.

In a letter to shareholders at Mangersta the commission said it "regrets the conflicting advice" given to the previous committee.

Following an evaluation of the case the commission said it was drafting revised guidance and had reviewed its processes.

'Working constructively'

Crofting Commission chief executive Catriona Maclean said: "The commission acknowledges that Mangersta is an active crofting community and this matter has caused prolonged uncertainty and anxiety under which a line can now be drawn.

"We look forward to working constructively with the new committee, once appointed, and other stakeholders in the future."

Crofters in Mangersta and Upper Coll want to continue an arrangement which sees money generated from the grazings going into a joint fund.

The commission had said the joint funds did not fit with crofting regulations.

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

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites