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Crofting website aims to promote Highland produce, crafts and visits

IT is a working croft, home to pedigree Highland cattle and a small flock of Cheviot sheep.

But Romesdal at Kingsburgh is one of a number of Scotland's crofts which is also offering bed and breakfast accommodation.

A new website has been launched by the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF), the representative body, featuring a range of self-catering cottages, B&B and holiday homes.

It also showcases the food and crafts available from crofts throughout the Highlands and Islands.

These range from: the Hebridean mutton produced by Sandy and Ali Granville at Tolsta Chaolais on Lewis; to the eggs Evelyn Walker Smith sells at Drumbhan Croft at Bonar Bridge in east Sutherland; and the knitwear produced by Exclusively Fair Isle on a croft on the island.

Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation, said: "We are proud of the range and quality of produce from our members' crofts and believe it should be better known.

"This website enables consumers to get in contact directly with crofters who are producing high quality, sustainably produced food and crafts .

"Meanwhile our members get an opportunity to add value to what they are producing. In addition, we are highlighting crofts which provide holiday accommodation so that holiday makers can stay on a genuine working croft and, if they want, learn about the crofting way of life and why it is still relevant."

Russell Smith, a crofter from Sutherland who helped set up the website, said: "People who buy croft produce or stay on a croft in the scheme are not only getting a top quality product but are helping to support a way of life that has proved successful in retaining population in some of the most scenic and remote areas."

He said crofting helped maintain the landscape through its low impact farming methods and "preserves much that is good in the culture and heritage of the Highlands and Islands".

www.scottishcrofting enterprise.co.uk

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