I write in response to a letter by Jamie Stewart, the director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance [January issue]. Mr Stewart’s heart is in the right place regarding sporting rates but he has his facts wrong. The
Assynt Crofters did indeed mount a campaign to buy the North Assynt Estate, funded in large part by public donations (it was bought
for £300,000, and we have just celebrated our 25th anniversary).
Counter to what Mr Stewart wrote, however, we did not go on to buy Glencanisp and Drumrunie estates. The Assynt Foundation, which operates Glencanisp and Drumrunie, is a separate entity with no connection to the Crofters’ Trust. We did not receive £1.6 million from the Scottish Land Fund nor did we receive £600,000 from Highland & Island Enterprise.
We are, however, solvent thanks to our hydro scheme, such that we now provide part-time employment for a number of people and bursaries to young folk from the estate who wish to pursue their education. Dr Ray Mackay, vice chair, Assynt Crofters’ Trust