Crofting Register gets its first croft (but where is it?)

It was anounced today that Donald Murdie of Galtrigill, Isle of Skye, is the first crofter to have gone through the process of getting his croft mapped and applying to have the map put on the Crofting Register, held by Registers of Scotland. Mr Murdie was informed yesterday that his application is successful and that his croft is the first to be registered.

As Malcolm Combe tweeted:-

But I noted:-

… and Malcolm responded

Until Registers of Scotland get their act together and actually register Mr. Murdie’s croft on the Crofting Register I have used Google Maps to find it for you:-

View Larger Map

Brian Inkster

13 thoughts on “Crofting Register gets its first croft (but where is it?)

  1. Neil King

    Now the Register has gone “live”, note how the boundaries of 5 Galtrigill as registered (red lines) conflict with the boundaries of neighbouring Hill Cottage as mapped on the OS base map.

    This appears to be precisely the sort of can of worms the naysayers predicted for attempting to map croft boundaries although I suspect it’s more a reflection of the inadequacies of the plan by which Hill Cottage was decrofted.

    I see from the Register that 5 Galtrigill is owner occupied and that Mr Murdie (and co-owner Ms Robson) live at Hill Cottage. So it’s likely they’re not in the worst case scenario of having to apply for resumption of parts of their own land from a neighbouring crofter. Once they get their decrofting powers back, would the Crofting Commission give a discretionary/general purpose decrofting direction in respect of the parts of Hill Cottage as occupied on the ground which fall within 5 Galtrigill as registered as a croft? Or would the CC force Mr Murdie & Ms Robson to go through a reasonable purpose decrofting application? (The CC’s draft plan makes no mention of this scenario which demonstrates to my mind the shortcomings of the plan considering its purpose is to show how the CC will exercise its statutory functions.)

    It’s also possible the crofting boundaries of Hill Cottage with 5 Galtrigill as recorded in the Crofting Register reflect similar discrepancies as regards their respective titles (Sasine deed plans and/or decrofting plans reflected in the Crofting Register not matching the situation on the ground and/or as mapped). If I were instructed in the sale of Hill Cottage (or 5 Galtrigill), I’d be very much on my guard.

    This all reinforces a view I’ve long held that the registration of crofting should have been integrated with the Land Register rather than in yet another register to add to the growing list (good work for Millar & Bryce but a disservice to the public at large). Crofting tenancies merit being a registrable interest in land (or a burden on the landlord’s interest if you prefer) and the duties of owner occupier crofters are surely “burdens” worthy of mention in a register of land.

    To summarise this overly long comment, the central point is the need for a “one stop shop” register of interests in land. Why not make that the “original and best”, the Land Register (or until that achieves 100% coverage, the Sasine Register)?

    1. Brian Inkster Post author

      Thanks Neil

      To assist readers here is the map detail re. Hill Cottage you mention:-

      Hill Cottage detail

      I managed to locate 5 Galtrigill using the map search but couldn’t find it using the croft name or crofter name searches. Not sure if there is a problem with the Register or just how I am inputting the search details. You have obviously been able to locate the detail concerning the croft but I have not managed that! Any tips on how to do it?

      I agree that intigration with the Land Register would have been desirable. Even, at the very least, some sort of link between the two. I am not sure to what extent, if any, the Keeper even checks the Land Register before registering within the Crofting Register.

      A “one stop shop” would have been very sensibe. Instead we have at least three places to look up: The Land Register, The Crofting Register and The Register of Crofts.

  2. Neil King

    The way it’s supposed to work is you select the “i” button, select “all crofts” on the drop down menu to the right of that and then left click within the red boundaries whereupon it will turn purple and a dialogue box will appear taking you to details of the registration. That’s quite intuitive but I’ve noticed the click within the boundaries doesn’t always produce any response (i.e. doesn’t go purple).

    Alternatively > “Search Gazetteer”, press the “Place Name” radio button and enter “Galtrigill”. Then click that name on the resulting list and the map will pan to it with No 5 already highlighted in purple so you can click in it to produce the registration details.

    Finally > “Search Register”, click the “Registered Parties” radio button, then enter “Murdie”.

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  5. Donald Murdie

    Blimey, the price of fame. Neil’s right that the Hill Cottage boundary does not follow that shown on the OS map, but it follows exactly that shown on the Land Certificate. The probable explanation for this is that the fences are in the wrong place (not put up by me, and it’s certainly not a priority to shift them) and the Hill Cottage boundary does of course fall inside where the fences are, so there would be no question of decrofting to regularise the feu. This is of course quite a common situation where the owner/occupier or tenant is the same person as the owner of the feu as no one is really that bothered.

  6. Neil King

    Donald, I wasn’t suggesting the fences be moved to match the lines in the paperwork but rather that it would be desirable if the lines in the paperwork were moved to match the fence lines on the ground. That said, I entirely accept it’s not a practical issue or problem just now while it’s all in the same ownership.

  7. Donald Murdie

    Well, having just gone through this time-consuming and expensive process, and given the number of pieces of paper, and their electronic eqivalent, with the boundary as shown it will probably be cheaper and easier to move the fences! At least that’s something I can do for myself.

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  9. Joyce Wilkinson

    Hi Donald, so the time consumimg and expensive process wasnt just a £90 fee and drawing some lines on a map
    And from what I have gathered if you wanted to decroft or assign you would have to re register ?
    Informative blog Inksters !

  10. Donald Murdie

    Well, Joyce, I wish I’d let someone else make the mistakes first. Having gone to one of the RoS roadshows, I would say the most important points are to get your maps from RoS for £16 and ignore the 28mb download of mapping guidelines. Use a community newspaper if you can for the adverts, but it has to be a weekly. Incidentally, for this one wee croft there are ten parties with interest in the adjoining land! What happens when it gets difficult and contested? I think the system will collapse.

    I’m increasingly concerned at the costs such as the above being imposed on crofters by stealth. Look at the Crofting Commission Annual Report for 2012/13. They itemise the costs for various crofting transactions, e.g. £2753 for an apportionment. The implication is that they might in future recover these costs from the applicant because they can. Now this might be ok the crofter is to benefit financially by e.g. creating a house site, but if the apportionment is for genuine agricultural purposes where is that sort of money supposed to come from?

  11. Joyce Wilkinson

    Hi Donald
    Thank you for pointing that out, and yes I asked someone the other day about registering their croft as they seem to be going ahead and they have paid a good few hundred to a consultant to do it. The bill could be more yet. I will take on the advice re maps etc and pass it around ,thanks


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