Crofting is a particularly Scottish way of managing the land that is now breathing new life into the Highland glens. In recent high-profile cases in Assynt, Knoydart and the islands of Eigg and Gigha, local crofters have taken ownership of the land on which they have lived as tenants for generations. Communities that were left deserted by the Clearances of the nineteenth century have once more got a future. In this new, greatly expanded edition of her bestselling "Crofts and Crofting", Katherine Stewart describes how crofting has evolved over the years. Life on the crofts is, and always has been, hard and seldom materially rewarding. And yet it has created a rich tradition, marked by community spirit, personal warmth, respect for the land and toughness in the face of adversity. This new edition updates the crofting story for the twenty-first century. A ground-breaking Crofting Act is now putting crofters, with their environmentally sustainable small farms, at the forefront of land management in the Highlands. In the new era, information technology is transforming the options available and removing the isolation which was so often the crofters' greatest burden.
This book is a complete guide to the history, working methods and future outlook for a unique way of life.
Katharine Stewart lived on a croft with her husband and daughter for many years. Her experiences during this period of her life were recounted in A Croft in the Hills. She has since helped to set up a crofting museum next to her home near Loch Ness. Among her other books are A Garden in the Hills, describing the life of her garden during the course of a year, and A School in the Hills, about the schoolhouse in which she lives and the way in which the children of the Highlands have been educated over the years.