The community exhibition held in Scotland was organised in tandem with the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF), recognising young crofters with an awards ceremony at the ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting’ event in Rothes, Moray on 9th October 2019.
Isles of Uist, Scotland. Photographer: Sophie Gerrard
The Isles of Uist lie off the coast of Scotland, forming the last stronghold of both the Gaelic language and a crofting tradition that has maintained small-scale farming for generations. Neil and Morag MacPherson are third generation crofters who grow small oats and bere barley for seed, ensuring the local community can rely on the resilience of their crops which have adapted to the harsh climate of the Western Isles. Meanwhile, over on North Uist, the MacDonalds operate a herd of 300 highland cattle, which are fed on a mix of arable crops grown on the croft. In Autumn, they are led over to a neighbouring tidal island where they will stay and graze for the winter. Angus’ croft was handed onto him some years ago by his mother, Ena, who still remembers the days of growing up here hunting, fishing and helping the community harvest every September until nightfall. Determined to see this legacy continue she speaks out nationally on crofters rights. ‘You have hard times and you have good times. If you really love it you just carry on. It is something that is in your blood.’ she says.