Crofters are being encouraged to put themselves forward to stand for election as a Crofting Commissioner.
The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) is calling on all crofters to exercise their rights by standing for election in the March elections.
SCF chairman, Donald MacKinnon, said the Crofting Commission was unique in being a government agency with a majority-elected board, and it is essential crofters take full advantage of this.
“This is a crucial role to play in this unique, regulated system,” said Mr MacKinnon.
“It is a system of land tenure only found in the Highland and Islands of Scotland and has bestowed many benefits, not only being the core of communities in these areas, but also leading the way in High Nature Value land use.”
He added: “We need to show-case this system as the way forward for all land-use in Scotland and being a crofting commissioner gives you the opportunity to contribute directly to this.”
The Crofting Commission electoral area is divided into six constituencies and an election will take place in each, on March 17, where more than one valid nomination is received.
The constituencies are: Shetland; Caithness and Orkney; east Highlands – east Sutherland, Easter Ross, east Inverness and Moray; Western Isles; west Highlands – west Sutherland, Wester Ross and Skye and Lochalsh; and south-west Highlands – Lochaber, Argyll and Bute, Arran and Cumbrae, and the Small Isles.
Any crofters interested in standing for election must complete and submit a nomination form to the office of the returning officer at the Crofting Commission by 5pm on Thursday January 27.
Candidates must be aged 16 years or over and either have his or her name entered in the Register of Crofters or registered in the Crofting Register as a crofter or owner-occupier, or have been nominated by an elector.
Nomination forms and information about how to stand for election can be downloaded from the Crofting Commission website at www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk