The Croft - Click here for diaries
My croft is 8 acres of fairly poor land (just left of center in the banner picture) that barely provides enough pasture for a small herd of sheep. However the sheep prevent the whole area from being overrun with bracken. This effect is very noticeable when you look at two sides of a wall separating a croft in use and one that is derelict. Remove the sheep and the landscape would be very different.
Most crofters in this part of the world are cutting back of the flock size and some keep crofting due to family traditions which they do not want to see die out. However there are very few new crofters, mainly due to the low financial returns from an occupation that needs a lot of work. The true spirit of crofting which entailed keeping livestock, growing essential food etc is only practised by a hardy few. There are a growing number of people (not just crofters) who now rely on cutting peat for winter fuel. Not surprising given the cost of all types of fuel.
I am currently experimenting with willow cultivation in the hope that I will one day be self sufficient in wood for the fire and perhaps add value by selling willow hurdles. Not doing too well so far and realised that fencing will be very expensive, especially if I have to put up deer fencing to minimise the risk of my crop becoming breakfast.
I am still in the process of migrating all the information from my old website to this new one so some pictures/links mays be missing.