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Row over island's sporting rights

POLITICIANS are being urged to use all their powers to reverse the decision to remove the lease of the sporting rights on Raasay from the island's crofters.

The Free Church has described the move as a "gross injustice", with many sections of Highland society shocked that for the sake of around only £2000 a year more, ministers have accepted a bid for the rights from the firm South Ayrshire Stalking. The figure was more than two-and-a-half times the £1150 bid from the Raasay Crofters Association, which has spent the past 18 years developing deer management on the island.

In an unprecedented move, all Free Church ministers covering the church's six congregations on Skye and Raasay, have written an open letter to their MSPs calling on them to act.

It states: "You will all be aware that it is difficult to make money at the margins, and The Raasay Crofters' Association has made great progress in developing the sporting rights in Raasay to the benefit of the crofters and the community.

"The benefit certainly outstrips the mere £2000 which is at stake.

"We consider this recent development a gross injustice against the local crofters of Raasay."

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