(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2014)

Document title

Beyond Crofting: Assessing Change on Scotland's Small-Scale Holdings

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

Sutherland Lee-Ann ; Matthews Keith ; Buchan Kevin ; Miller Dave ;

  • Social, Economic and Geographic Sciences, James Hutton Institute
  • Information and Computational Sciences, James Hutton Institute


In this paper, we go ‘beyond crofting’ to assess the changes to both croft and non-croft small-scale land management in Scotland from 2000 to 2011, through an analysis of agricultural census statistics. We find that although small-scale holdings (defined as holdings of less than 10 ha) occupy a very small percentage of Scotland's agricultural land, they account for 19.6% of Scotland's agricultural labour. Small-scale holdings also play important roles within the commercial poultry and horticulture sectors, and house 35.9% of reported horses. Small-scale land management is increasing throughout Scotland, but with evident regional distinctions. Upland and island holdings (many of which are crofts) have seen substantial reductions in their sheep numbers as part of the wider reduction in agricultural activity associated with 2005 Common Agricultural Policy reforms. In contrast, sheep numbers are growing on small-scale holdings in the lowlands, underpinned by a complex mix of commercial and lifestyle drivers. We highlight that benefits traditionally associated with crofting, such as population retention and rural development, could also be associated with small-scaling holding in general. However, the increase in small-holding and retention of labour in some regions may be evidence of peri-urban gentrification processes, rather than fulfilment of traditional crofting functions in remote areas.


Article of periodic

published at : Scottish geographical journal / ISSN 1751-665X

Editor : Taylor & Francis, Abingdon - ROYAUME-UNI (1999)

Millesime : 2014, vol. 130, no4 [pp. 223-242]
Published in 20141002

Bibliographic references : 29



Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : 10.1080/14702541.2013.877151

2014, © 2014 Royal Scottish Geographical SocietyTous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2014
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