SAYFC representatives including youth development manager Jordan Barclay and national agri and rural affairs chair John McCulloch, alongside Cammy Wilson of The Sheep Game, recently travelled to Stornoway to launch the Western Isles Young Crofters.

More than 200 individuals attended Steinish Auction Mart with support from Lewis and Harris Sheep Producers Association (LHSPA).

LHSPA committee member Ally Williamson, who helped organise the event, explained: “In the last few years we have seen more and more young people attending sales, shows and events.

“There is obviously a growing interest in crofting but there is no dedicated organisation for them to get involved in. This event was about exploring demand for setting up such a group and the turnout has certainly shown that demand is there. Crofting has a bright future in the Western Isles.”

The Scottish Farmer: Left to Right: Donald MacKinnon, John McCulloch, Cammy Wilson and Jordan BarclayLeft to Right: Donald MacKinnon, John McCulloch, Cammy Wilson and Jordan Barclay

With interest from 100 young crofters throughout the Western Isles, it is hoped that the new group will provide more opportunities for crofters from all the islands to come together more regularly.

Jordan from SAYFC added: “We were delighted to be invited to attend this event and tell young people in the Western Isles about the opportunities that SAYFC membership and affiliation could bring for the new group.

“We have recently had new clubs established in Shetland which has been a great success – we would love to help support something similar being replicated in the Western Isles.”

Concluding the successful evening in Stornoway, Cammy Wilson said: “This is the third time I’ve been to the Western Isles and one of the things I think is really special about the place is the sense of community, that was certainly on display at the launch event.”