The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) requires the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (RoS) to establish and maintain a free to search, public register of common grazings, crofts and land held runrig called the Crofting Register. This register provides crofters and other interested parties legal certainty over the extent of, and interests in, land held under crofting tenure. This is one of a number of registers maintained by the Keeper.
The purpose of the Crofting Register is to provide:
- transparency as to the extent of crofts and land in Scotland that is subject to crofting tenure. Croft land is displayed against a backdrop of the Ordnance Survey map.
- an accurate and current legal record of croft land.
- security and confidence to crofters, landowners and others over the extent of, and interests in, land held in crofting tenure.
- a platform that enables crofters to realise the economic potential of croft land.
- an important tool for the Crofting Commission in the effective regulation of crofting.
- a means of ensuring that land does not inadvertently fall out of crofting tenure.
Registration in the Crofting Register is required following certain 'trigger events' and through voluntary registration of individual crofts and common grazings, or groups of crofts through a more collaborative approach to registration.
Registration fees for the Crofting Register are set by the Scottish Ministers and can be viewed in the Registers of Scotland (Fees) Order 2014 (SSI 2014 No. 188). The current £90 fee per registration has remained unchanged since the Crofting Register was first introduced in November 2012.
RoS continues to offer support to crofters and landowners seeking to submit an application to register croft land and promotes a collaborative approach towards agreeing the extent of croft land before submitting applications for registration in the Crofting Register. This provides an opportunity to ensure information entered in the Register is accurate and thereby minimises the potential for challenges against registration and the requirement for changes in the future.
RoS offers similar support to those wishing to submit a community application, where a collaborative approach is particularly relevant, and would encourage all of those with a local interest in croft land to participate in the process. For example, RoS has assisted communities by arranging visits to discuss the requirements for registering croft land, to explain the mapping requirements and to assist with any local issues relevant to successfully registering croft land.
Support from RoS also includes the provision of maps to crofters to enable them to accurately define the boundaries of their croft when preparing applications for registration.
In addition, RoS works collaboratively with other crofting stakeholders, such as the Scottish Government, the Crofting Commission and crofting representative bodies. This is to ensure that the Crofting Register continues to deliver an accurate representation of land held in crofting tenure.
As at October 2020, RoS has registered 69 community applications totalling 864 crofts, accounting for 12% of the total number of 7,141 registered crofts. There are also 335 common grazings registered in the Crofting Register. The online Crofting Register contains extensive guidance on how and when to register your croft.
Registers of Scotland will continue to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government, the Crofting Commission and other crofting stakeholders to continually improve the Crofting Register registration process for all involved within the current legislation.
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