New duties on grazing committees to report on the condition of crofts

28 September 2012

From 1 October 2012 a grazing committee is obliged to report to the Crofting Commission on the condition of the common grazing and the condition of every tenanted and owner-occupied croft with a share in the grazing. They must also report on “any other matter the Commission may require” although it is not clear at present whether the Commission will actually be requiring any other information to be reported on.

Where a grazing committee consider that a crofter is not complying with the duty to reside within 32 km of their croft or are misusing or neglecting their croft or not cultivating and maintaining their croft then this must also be reported. The report may also include information on any other matter affecting the common grazing or crofting in any township associated with the grazing, as the committee consider appropriate.

The report requires to be submitted to the Crofting Commission as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the first year of the relevant section of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 coming into force (which was 1 October 2011) and every 5 years thereafter.

It perhaps now makes ‘Grazing Constable’ a very apt title. So if you are a member of a grazing committee you will have to consider your duties to report such matters to the Crofting Commission as soon as reasonably practicable after 1 October 2012. And if you are a crofter and you spot a member of the grazing committee inspecting your croft you will now know what they are up to.

It is understood that the Crofting Commission are creating an easy to use form to facilitate this reporting requirement. It is assumed that this will be issued by them to Grazing Clerks for completion and return and/or be made available for download on their website.

If you require further advice about how these changes will have an impact on you and your grazing commitee, please contact Brian Inkster in Glasgow or Eilidh Ross in Inverness.  

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