What are woodland crofts?
A woodland croft is a registered croft with sufficient tree cover overall to be considered a woodland under UK forestry policy.
Lifestyles and livelihoods based on woodlands are traditional in many parts of the world, but are currently rare in Scotland. Woodland crofts are an opportunity for individuals and communities to develop them, and the approach to management taken by woodland crofters is expected to deliver increased social, economic and environmental benefits.
What are the key stages in developing woodland crofts?
Our route map will help you understand what's involved in establishing woodland crofts. Woodland crofts route map (PDF 35k).
Guidance on issues relating to establishing and managing a woodland croft is available from the menu on the left of the page.
Woodland crofts are always likely to involve an element of woodland management, however, the exact nature and extent of this is not prescribed, and there is considerable flexibility for individual woodland croft tenants to manage their crofts to meet their own needs and aspirations.
Read more about forest management (PDF 49k)
Creating woodland crofts
The Crofting Reform Act 2007 makes provision for the creation of new crofts including woodland crofts.
Communities wishing to create woodland crofts can bid to buy national forest land under the National Forest Land Scheme. They would have to demonstrate that their proposals contribute to sustainable communities, deliver additional public benefits (including economic benefits), and be in the public interest.
The National Forest Land Scheme guidance (PDF 1.5Mb) includes specific information on the community acquisition of land for the purpose of creating woodland crofts.
Communities looking to develop woodland crofts are likely to work closely with a range of bodies including Forestry Commission Scotland, the Crofters Commission and the planning authorities.