Assynt Crofters’ Trust

In 1989 Edmund H Vestey renamed the coastal crofting strip - comprising thirteen townships and a total area of 21,300 acres (9,000 Ha) - as North Lochinver Estate, and sold it for £1,080,000 to a Swedish land speculator.  In none of these transactions were the interests of the people who lived and worked on the land considered to be relevant.

In 1992 Scandinavian Property Services Ltd went into liquidation, with a Swedish bank as the main creditor.  A London-based Liquidator was appointed and the selling agents who had been employed by the Vestey family to conduct the original sale were re-appointed. The estate which had been sold to Scandinavian Property Services in three lots was now to be broken up into seven lots, no concern being shown for the impact of this process on the crofting activity of the inhabitants.

At a public meeting called a few weeks later, a proposal, judged by some to be bordering on the lunatic, was put to those present, that an attempt be made to raise sufficient money for the crofters to bid for the Estate themselves. This was agreed to and a steering committee was formed which consisted principally of the grazings clerks of the thirteen townships on the Estate - the role of the committee being to guide the project and to act as links with the crofting people.

Within three months a feasibility study and business plan had been put together with financial help from the Crofters’ Union and Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise and so the Assynt Crofters’ Trust came into being.  On July 1 there appeared the first of many reports in the national press about the audacious attempt of a few motley crofters in the remote N W Highlands to win back the land of their forefathers.

The campaign caught the public imagination, donations began to roll in and negotiations began in earnest with the Liquidators.  After having had two offers to purchase the Estate rejected by the selling agents, a deal was agreed in December 1992 - almost exactly 6 months after the original public meeting was called.

About the Trust Location Contact us Fling in the Fank Links Assynt Crofters’ Trust took title to the land
on 1st February 1993
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Allan MacRae 1939 - 2013

It was with profound shock and sadness that the Board of Assynt Crofters’ Trust learned of the death of Allan MacRae a founding Director of the Trust and long-time Chairman of the Board.
The Board extend their condolences to John and Harry, his brothers, Carol-Anne his niece and all family and friends.  To us Allan was the passion and spirit of the Trust and could always be relied on as a first line of defence for the well-being of people on the land.
A light has gone out in the glen.