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Environment - Crofts and Small Farms

Crofts and small units often practice high nature value farming.  We have a selection of guides, podcasts and videos available to help increase biodiversity on your unit.

Derelict to Productive: Implementing Your 5 Year Plan

Underused and derelict land on your croft or smallholding can be daunting to tackle. Our series of ‘Derelict to Productive’ workshops on Skye is designed to take you through the steps from assessing your croft’s potential, implementing a 5 year plan to looking into your longer term plans. Here is a quick recap of the first in the series of three workshops. See how important active crofting is for biodiversity and wildlife and what some of the participants thought of the event.

Crofting & the Uist Machair

Cultivations will be underway soon on the Uist machair, growing crops and managing the land for high biodiversity. This lovely video explains how and why traditional crops are grown in a two year cycle.

Women in Agriculture: Lynbreck Croft, Grantown-on-Spey

As part of our work for Women in Agriculture, we visited Lynbreck Croft near Grantown-on-Spey to interview Lynn Cassells.  Lynn farms with her partner Sandra Baer, and together they have created a successful crofting business focussed on working with nature and providing sustainable food for their local community.  Mary-Jane Lawrie, of SAC Consulting, chatted to Lynn about being a new entrant, tree hay, rotational grazing, their “ladies who lay” and their time on This Farming Life.

Corncrakes

Active Crofting and Corncrakes

How can active crofting help to support the development of habitats for corncrake? Skye farmer Robert Montgomery talks to Shelagh Parlane from RSPB Scotland.

Developing Corncrake Habitats on Skye

Robert Montgomery farms at Waternish on Skye on has been working with RSPB Scotland to develop areas in his silage fields that provide good habitat for corncrake. Here he talks to Shelagh Parlane from RSPB Scotland about the actions he's taken.

Skye Corncrake Partnership
Corncrakes are a small, migratory bird that spend their winters in Central and Western Africa, and their summers in Northern Europe. They used to be widespread in the UK, but are now on the red endangered list, and are limited to a few small populations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Skye, Orkney and Durness on the mainland of Scotland. These areas have a vital role and unique opportunity to aide the survival of this special bird. They thrive in areas with rich, high-quality meadows with nearby longer vegetation for cover. Crofters and farmers in these areas can take a lot of pride in the work that has already been done to help this unique bird.

Corncrake: How Landscape Management Can Protect Their Habitat

We talk to Bridget England of the RSPB about Corncrake populations in Scotland and what can be down by farmers and crofters to boost their numbers.

Woodland Creation

Woodland Creation on Crofts

Woodland Specialist from SAC Consulting, Douglas Priest talks to Donny Chisholm from the Woodland Trust. This podcast will give you the why, where, what and how of starting woodland on your croft.

Pollinators

Helping Pollinators on Farms and Crofts

The crofting areas of the Western Isles, Caithness, Sutherland and the Orkney isles are important for the Great Yellow Bumblebee, our rarest bumblebee. This bee particularly likes red clover and machair flowers. In this video, we show different types of bee, how they feed, and the plants they feed on. With large losses of flower-rich meadows in the UK, the maintenance of flower rich, less intensively-managed areas such machair and grazing and hay fields on crofts and commons is important.

Liming

Liming and Biodiversity with the RSPB

Did you know that soil liming can not only help your land become fertile but will also help with biodiversity? Improved biodiversity will also help attract more birds to your land which will help to tack pests like leatherjackets. We made this video in conjunction with RSPB Scotland to look at how liming is a win all round. Music: Filaments by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at http://soundofpicture.com Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://soundofpicture.com or contact artist via email.

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