A lot of people ask “What is a croft?”
A croft is a piece of agricultural land with a particular legal structure unique to Scotland. There are about 750,000 hectares of land in Scotland is in crofting tenure. In most cases the land was owned by the landowner, and let to crofters as tennants. The 1886 Crofting Act ensured that crofters could not be removed from their land on a whim, and had secure tenancy.
Is a croft a house?
Absolutely not! A croft relates to land. There can be a croft house, and a crofter who lives in the house.
One of the important aspects of Crofting tenure is that the land must be kept in use or the tenant risks forfeiting their right to work it.
Coll View: home of the Angry Triangle
The Angry Triangle lives on a croft in Tiree. It is a 60 acre croft which is a combination of 2 original crofts. The house is called Coll View and that gives the croft its name too.
My great great grandfather first worked the land, and it has been handed down over the generations. It is now home to 61 sheep and 4 cows.
The majority of the sheep are Hebridean sheep. Hebrideans are a hardy native breed with dark wool and horns. They are a small sheep – easy to handle as long as you avoid the pointy bits – but they are also clever, and wily and would much prefer if I didn’t interfere with them!
The cows are a breed called Luing – developed in the Isle of Luing to be a hardy cow that produces good calves and great tasting meat.
Because it is important to me that I find a way to make the land pay its bills, I have stared to explore using the wool from the sheep – rather than selling it to the Wool Board in the traditional way. That pays very little.
This year, I have had the wool spun and the yarn is available in 100g balls for knitting or crochet!