Well, in a way, what we are doing is there has a continuity with history, going right back to the Pairc Deer Raid and the Clearances. There are eleven townships that form the Pairc crofting community townships, and each have their individual history and some of those do have cleared settlements on them. On the boundaries, we have to look at the boundaries of the Pairc estate because that’s the land we’re seeking to acquire. That’s been in the ownership of the current family since 1924 when it was brought from Lord Leverhulme. And each of the townships has its in-bye land, that’s the township where the houses are, plus its common grazings. As I said before, the area that Pairc Trust is seeking to acquire is the common grazings area which is the great bulk of the estate, over 20,000 acres, but excludes the in-bye land where people live, and that’s not because in principle we don’t want to buy the whole of the estate, we would. It’s because in order to follow the requirements of Part 3 of the Act, the mapping requirements are extremely onerous and we would have had to have mapped all of the in-bye land in tremendous detail, identifying areas that had been de-crofted, and, as is well known, there is no authoritative current map of crofting areas and it’s extremely complicated. It’s bad enough doing the mapping of common grazings for an area like this! I sometimes think that Part 3 was designed for a couple of fields, you know. This is over 20,000 acres and it’s extremely onerous and for pragmatic reasons we decided that we should restrict out applications to the common grazings area.

  • John Randall
Thursday 3rd June 2010