Property News, House Prices, Teenagers

Property News, House Prices

Twist of fate sees English couple move to Scot island to become modern crofters

Twist of fate sees English couple move to Scot island to become modern crofters

10/18/2021 3:08:00 AM

Twist of fate sees English couple move to Scot island to become modern crofters

An English couple have moved to a remote Scottish island to become modern crofters on an 18th century farm they 'may have never bought' had it not been for a purely random encounter

Grant and Sharon Jones, both 50, have moved to the Isle of Lewis, where they plan to run a smallholding.They described how a year and a half ago they were ready to make an offer on a croft down the road when a twist of fate made them bump into Tommy McLean.

COVID-19 around the world: Israel to ban foreigners as other nations tighten restrictions on Britons WHO 'bowed to China' by skipping letter when naming new Covid variant NY Gov Kathy Hochul declares state of emergency amid new COVID variant

He was the nephew of the former owner of the plot they have bought - a "fantastic", 18th century farm they plan to become modern crofters on.Talking to the Daily Record, Grant said: "We were looking at crofts and we were about to put an offer on one down the road when we saw this guy coming up the road on his old 1956 tractor and that was Tommy McLean, the nephew of the former owner.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below “We were speaking to him and we said, we’re looking to buy a croft and he said 'well I have one that I’ll sell to you'."If it wasn’t for bumping into him on his tractor, this might never have happened."

Looking to integrate themselves into the local community and avoid contributing to the island's housing shortage, they're going to build their own home.The couple got married at an ancient stone circle, Calanais, on the island in 2014 while living in Glasgow, then moved to Nairn, Highlands, before selling their house and moving to a more remote spot, the Daily Record reports.

They are now living out of a caravan while they "reuse and recycle" the ruins of a derelict croft into a new road and a new eco-home.They also plan to fertilise the land with kelp to grow vegetables as well as rearing Hebridean sheep.Grant and Sharon, who is from Edinburgh, were keen not to have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of islanders - as a boom in second home ownership has made it harder for young people to afford properties.

Grant said: “Part of the reason we’re building a house is that we didn’t want to buy an existing home because there are lot of people coming to the islands and doing that and a lot of holiday lets."There is still a drain on the island in that respect and things are getting more expensive here, as they are everywhere.”

Chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation Donald MacKinnon, warned earlier this month that the market for crofts was “completely out of control”.The runaway price resulting as a result is in turn putting the plots of land well out of the reach of young people.

Malala Yousafzai graduates from Oxford University British vaccine could give strong protection against new Covid strain Sappy ending: Canada digs deep into strategic reserves to cover maple syrup shortage

Part of Grant and Sharon’s long-term plans include aspirations to eventually open their land up as a mentoring space for others to learn the ways of crofting - and they have just welcomed their first chickens.They are living in a caravan while contractors work on the croft, which dates back to 1765 when it was first used as a smallholding.

They hope to feed themselves in part with fruit and vegetables, including kale, potatoes, cabbage, leeks and onions, as well as eggs from their hens, grown on-site, in the manner of traditional crofters. Grant worked on a dairy farm in his younger days in England and has experience growing grapes and passionfruit as well as sheep shearing from living in the Australian Outback.

He was drawn to the “history and mystery” of the standing stones near their new home.Grant said: “It was fantastic, these stones dating back 4000 years and no one really knowing why they are there or what they were there for.“Everyone has their theory but no one really knows.

“The timeless landscape of Lewis always draws you back and the many moods on the island, the beautiful light.“You can stand up at the stones there and look out southwest and the landscape pretty much hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. “We always wanted to move and we spent a lot of time here but we never imagined that we would actually pluck up the courage to."

The ruined house is being dismantled to make way for their new home, and relics from it are being recycled and reused - including an old tub where sheep were once gutted by former owner Donald McLean, whose family owned the croft from 1812 until now.Stones from the old house have been used to build a road and beams from the roof will be made into planters for growing produce.

A new, well-insulated, 90 square-metre, two-bedroom structure will house the couple and will be warmed by a source heat pump, an eco-friendly heating system.Grant said: “We’d been thinking of doing this for years", before adding they hope to get everything finished by spring time "if we're lucky".

Ride on, baby: NZ politician cycles to hospital to give birth – for the second time All-party groups: Calls for stronger anti-lobbying rules for MPs Why are scientists concerned about new Covid variant?

“It’ll be done when it’s done. As regards the croft, that is going to take a long time." Vegetables are being grown in a polytunnel but without modern pesticides and the couple hope to be rearing native black Hebridean sheep by next year.Sharon, who now works at the Callanish visitors’ centre, said: “I’d like to bring people here who can hugely benefit from being around animals in this kind of environment, as well as teenagers who are maybe up to mischief in schools.

“By next year we should have our own vegetables, the sheep and maybe lambs as well.“We’re debating getting pigs as well but they’re supposed to be very good escape artists.” Read More Read more: Daily Mirror »

BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Melanie Sykes, Menopause, Marching Midwives

Mel Sykes on her mid-life autism diagnosis and how it all makes sense.

For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to her earn_with_Jens1 Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success

Viewers in stitches as Pete Davidson and Rami Malek give Squid Game a country twistThe pair offered their own hilarious take on the hit Netflix show So cool

Ireland and Scotland target top table as T20 World Cup gets under wayIrish have underperformed at recent tournaments and Scots have toiled of late but both have realistic hopes of reaching the Super 12s nice

Feeling post-lockdown separation anxiety in your relationship? You’re not aloneIt's a rollercoaster time for couples and here, an expert shares advice for anyone worrying

Kate Garraway reveals painfully swollen eye with ‘inflamed cornea’She’ll be right as rain in a couple of days 🙌 We gonna see a documentary about her recovery .. kerching kerching My mate got Pink eye when someone farted on his pillow in University it's no joke guys! Could happen to anyone celebs included...🍑💨

Viewers in stitches as Pete Davidson and Rami Malek give Squid Game a country twistThe pair offered their own hilarious take on the hit Netflix show So cool

Small firms’ fury as Amazon offers £3,000 sign-up bonus to attract Christmas staffWarning that online giant’s move will lead to higher prices and empty shelves in shops This is really advertising Amazon’s job vacancy? 😂 The management of these firms would have been extolling the brilliance of capitalism and the free market until last week. Weren't we supposed to be furious at their bad pay rates last week?