SIR, Further to the recent open letter from Dr Michael Foxley to MSPs Mairi Gougeon and Kate Forbes on the subject of the new Agricultural Support Bill, I would like to highlight the following.

It is now over a year since crofters in Skye produced the briefing document ‘Common Grazing - A view to the Future’, which was circulated to many crofting stakeholders including our new deputy First Minister, the cabinet secretary for rural affairs, the president of National Farmers Union Scotland and the chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation, asking, indeed pleading with them, to find a solution to the threats faced by Common Graziers.

The silence from these organisations on the specific issue of common grazing over the last year has been deafening. We now see our ex First Minister proudly announcing a 30% cut in support to common grazing on top of the 40-90% cuts inflicted on those managing common grazing under the previous support review.

These three organisations are fully aware of the catastrophic impacts the current proposals will have on Common Grazings. There is still time to find a solution that avoids the disaster common grazing currently face if these three organisations would work with those managing common grazing to design policies that secure a future for common grazing.

If they do not take this opportunity now to save common grazing they will be culpable in what history will see as a second Highland Clearances and will have played directly into the hands of the rewilders and the eco fanatics.

Alastair Culbertson, Chairman, Sleat General Common Grazing Committee