Sustainable lifestyles and heritage
Crofters have always worked closely with the environment, using low input and low impact practices to provide food, shelter, clothing and energy for the family and the local community.
In the 21st century, crofting provides an ideal model for renewed interest in healthy and sustainable living, which respects the environment and provides local solutions to meeting basic needs.
The project was designed around the Scottish Government policy objectives linked to the three pillars of sustainability. See here for the Crofting Connections policy links.
Crofting and wildlife
Over the centuries, crofting has helped to shape the land to create an important mosaic of
wildlife habitats, some designated for their international importance, such as machair,
peatland, blackland, heather moor and grazed woodland in some of Scotland’s most
Crofting areas are home to some of Scotland’s most diverse natural heritage, with important populations of birds such as the corncrake, skylark and corn bunting in cropped grass and cereal fields, the ground-nesting birds of wet grasslands, raptors and sea birds.
Crofting Connections provides the opportunity for young people to value and respect their environmental heritage and to balance this with their need to work and live in this context.
Crofting also sustains a unique cultural heritage, influenced by Gaelic in the Western Isles and Highlands and Norse in Orkney and Shetland, reflected in a rich legacy of music, song, dance, poetry, storytelling, literature and place-names.
A wide range of cultural activities is associated with the rich heritage of crofting communities. Schools have the opportunity to explore this heritage through:
Building on the success of Crofting Connections Phase 1, by extending its geographical coverage within the crofting counties, Crofting Connections Phase 2 worked with existing Crofting Connections schools and to offer the project to other schools in Argyll & Bute, Highland, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, as well as the new crofting areas in Moray and the Isle of Arran.
Crofting Connections coincided with major legislative reform – Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 - to ensure crofting has a sustainable and profitable future in the 21st century in recognition of its multiple economic, social and environmental benefits.
This year some schools have received seeds for sowing in late April/early May.Read full article: Heritage crofting seeds for 2017 season
The Scottish press are getting excited by the new generation of weavers being encouraged in schools in the Western Isles now and we feel Crofting Connections is playing its part in nurturing this. With ‘taster’ S2 sessions in the Nicolson Institute and an SQA award in Harris Tweed for S5/S6 as well as our own experiences linking Crofting, Careers and Culture in Ceangal gatherings reported in this website, weaving is now opening hearts and minds in our young workforce and giving them further reasons to stay in the rural locations they grow up in.Read full article: Crofting Connections: A gateway to the fashion industry.