Crofters planning for the often daunting and complex process of passing their business on to the next generation are being offered the chance to register for a bespoke webinar.
Crofters face unique challenges whether that be crofting law, remote markets or generally smaller business sizes.
Facilitated by SAC Consulting – part of Scotland’s Rural College – the Crofting Succession webinar will guide crofters through the steps of the succession journey including how to start the conversation, who to involve and how to make sure all generations are heard.
Led by well-known succession expert Heather Wildman, of Saviour Associates, together with SAC crofting advisor Janette Sutherland, it aims to create a starting point for conversations between families and communities on succession.
There are nearly 21,000 crofts in the North West of Scotland entered on the Crofting Commission’s Register of Crofts, of which nearly three-quarters are tenanted and the remainder owned.
Crofting is increasingly attracting new entrants, including both those with an interest in the traditional crofting of sheep and cattle and those looking at diversifying into food and tourism.
Heather said: “It’s never too early to plan for the future. Crofting is unique and it’s important to consider who the right person is to take your business forward and continue your legacy.
“They may not have the right skills at the moment but, by talking and planning, there’s time for them to learn how to ensure your business is in safe hands.”
Janette Sutherland, from SAC Consulting’s Portree office, will also talk through the steps unique to succession within crofting which can include issues such as crofting duties, decrofting and grazing shares.
She said: “Webinars can be listened to in the comfort of your own home and are very easy to join.”
Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is a service funded by the Scottish Government and European Union to support farmers and crofters access the latest information to increase their financial and environmental performance.
FAS is a comprehensive service for all of Scotland’s farmers and crofters, including expert advice delivered locally through a calendar of events and workshops across Scotland and a website with technical notes, tools, videos and guidance to keep farmers informed of good practice, new developments and opportunities
All year round, across Scotland, FAS delivers advice on: animal health and welfare; business resilience; Climate Change and the environment; crofts and small farms; crop health; farm woodlands; new entrants; and soil health. It delivers in responsive to the changing needs of Scotland’s farmers and crofters: from running events on important subjects rising up the agenda – such as the role and importance of women in agriculture – to advice on how to cope with extreme weather and other unpredictable challenges.