An invaluable practical guide to demystify crofting law and to help crofters, potential crofters and crofting communities understand their rights and obligations as crofters and members of those communities – highly recommended.

Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC, Chairman, Crofting Law Group and Author of ‘Crofting Law’ (2000)

The law relating to crofting in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is notoriously complex. Brian is one person who knows his way around it. His guidance will be found beneficial to those new to the subject and those with specific matters in mind. Whilst changes are afoot, his take on the current state of play will be invaluable to lawyers and lay persons alike.

Derek Flyn, Co-Author of ‘Crofting Law’ (1990), ‘Crofting Law Sump Report’ (2014) and ‘Crofting Law’ (2017); former Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation; and Crofting Law Consultant, Inksters Solicitors

This is an extremely helpful guide to crofting law which will help all who have to navigate the Byzantine routes through the law of the land.

Tavish Scott, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Shetland and Co-Convener, Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Crofting

Lawyers will hate this book – it takes a complex subject and makes it understandable to the layman. The level of detail is sufficient for understanding without getting bogged down in jargon.

Russell Smith, Crofter and former Chair, Scottish Crofting Federation

This is a book that has been awaited since crofting law was formed, a book that lays out what the, notoriously difficult to navigate, “sea of legislation” is about. The ambition of writing a practical guide to crofting law has been achieved by Scotland’s leading practising crofting lawyer.

As well as providing a service to clients and advice to government and other organisations, Brian Inkster delivers a session on crofting law on the Scottish Crofting Federation’s training programme. Feedback from students credits him with opening their eyes to how fascinating crofting law actually is.

Brian is a natural storyteller (it comes in the Shetland genes perhaps) and he has written this book as a travel writer would introduce us to exotic parts – setting the scene with the history and background, the introduction of the inhabitants and roles they play; the unique culture of crofting and the many unsuspected twists. It gives all the essential information needed to sail that “sea of legislation” and to safely visit the many crofting islands therein. It will be the essential reading for crofting students and for all who want to navigate crofting law.

Patrick Krause, Chief Executive, Scottish Crofting Federation

An accessible overview of a complex legal specialism which would be a useful addition to the shelf of anyone involved in crofting.

Katy Dickson, Head of Policy, Scottish Land & Estates

Brian Inkster is to be congratulated on unravelling the complexities of crofting law into a practical guide that is comprehensive and yet can be easily understood. I am sure this will prove to be a very useful guide to current crofters and those with an interest in crofting.

Andrew McCornick, President, NFU Scotland

This is a really useful resource and certainly the most readable book on crofting law in existence.

Siobhan Macdonald, Senior Agricultural Consultant, SRUC

Brian has produced what I regard to be an easily digested and readable guide which can be of immense help to those seeking to steer their way through what at times can be a daunting maze called crofting law.

His unquestionable grasp of crofting legislation shines through in what he has written for the benefit of others.

Iain M Maciver, Factor, Stornoway Trust; Commissioner, Crofting Commission; and Vice-Chairman, Crofting Law Group

Usually when I pick up a book aiming to understand law I lose interest within a few pages due to the complexity of legal jargon used by the author. Not so Brian Inkster’s first foray to print. His debut book, which like himself is dynamic in nature, provides an insightful summarisation of crofting law, which is easy to follow yet reasonably comprehensive in its detail. It touches on all the popular themes relating to crofting regulation of the modern day and will, I am sure, quickly become an essential for the crofter’s bookshelf.

David Campbell, Rural Surveyor and Commissioner, Crofting Commission

Crofting law is complex and so this new book from Brian Inkster is invaluable. The author is both a legal expert and somebody who intrinsically understands the crofting communities. Having previously appreciated his support for the Cross-Party Group on Crofting in the Scottish Parliament, Brian Inkster’s new book will be vital to anybody who seeks to understand, apply or reform crofting law.

Kate Forbes, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy in the Scottish Government and former Co-Convener, Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Crofting

Congratulations to Brian Inkster on producing a completely straightforward guide to a subject which is pretty much the exact opposite of straightforward; a point beautifully illustrated by the list of relevant legislation. Brian lists a total of 17 separate pieces of legislation affecting crofters/crofting which have been introduced in the 24 years since 1995, yet according to the Crofting Commission’s Annual Report there appeared in 2017/18 to be just over 20,000 crofts. Never in the history of Scotland – indeed in the history of the United Kingdom – can so much legislation have been passed to regulate so few!

A Practical Guide to Crofting Law provides a very comprehensive yet readable work to a very complicated subject. It is a guide that should make it much easier for (non-expert) parties concerned with crofting to live together.

John Mackenzie, Crofting Landlord, owner of Gairloch and Conon Estates

I knew as soon as I glanced at this piece of work by Brian Inkster, that it would be really useful. As a former Chair of the Crofters Commission, a lifelong crofter, and somebody still engaged in the increasingly labyrinthine toils of the crofting regulatory system, I am well acquainted with the various Crofting Acts, including the rather shambolic 2010 version, and with a number of much longer books on crofting legislation. This, much more concise, and doing what it says on the tin is not a replacement for the others, but it is a very valuable addition to the toolkit.

Quite short, the book is very well laid out and clear, and as someone who has known Brian for a long time, I can hear his voice coming through clearly. The heads are exactly as I would have hoped they would be, and it is very easy for me to move to the specific issue upon which I require clarity. Having speed read the whole book (a tribute to its clarity), I can say that the only bit not relevant to my purposes is the section on the community right to buy. And that is only because nobody in Shetland has ever evinced even a momentary interest in that particular option.

Drew Ratter, Crofter and former Chair, Crofters Commission

This is a useful and accessible addition to the available texts on this complex area of law. It will provide an initial or more general understanding which I am sure may prove helpful to many.

Bruce Beveridge, former President, Law Society of Scotland

Brian’s book represents a significant and, most importantly, accurate introduction to crofting law. Whether you’re someone looking to buy a croft and don’t know what one is or you’re from a crofting background and have grown up around crofting and the legislative quirks, I am certain that you will find something new and interesting in this fantastic publication.

The struggle for the rights of Crofters has not been and never was simple. By introducing the reader to the human element of crofting at the beginning, Brian has given an authentic and meaningful tone to the whole book.
This book will be an invaluable resource for Young Crofters and new entrants starting out in the industry. Understanding crofting legislation is not straight forward and this book will be a go to resource in years to come.

Donald MacKinnon, Crofter and Vice-Chair, Scottish Crofting Federation

I found the book to be an admirably accessible and well-structured guide to the basics of crofting law, a notoriously Byzantine field, and would recommend it as a quick reference guide to this apparently daunting subject.

Brendan O’Hanrahan, Vice-Chair, Scottish Crofting Federation

Crofting Law is a fact, despite this it is at times ignored, at times misunderstood by relevant professions. This is an unworthy indictment.

Brian Inkster’s book is a very welcome explanation of a legal statute which must remain fit for purpose for those communities it was designed to protect.

Ronnie Eunson, Crofter/Farmer; Director, Quality Meat Scotland; Chair, Scottish Islands Abattoirs Association; former Commissioner, Crofters Commission; and former Chair, Shetland Livestock Marketing Group

Easy to read and digest, Brian’s book on the basics of crofting law will no doubt provide a useful quick reference source not just for solicitors, but for crofters and landlords too. It covers all the key points and simplifies for the reader this complex area of law.

Martin Minton, Crofting Solicitor, Inksters Solicitors

Crofting law can sometimes seem like an existential exercise, wondering how to make sense of a confusing set of rules in an uncertain world. It is not possible to discuss crofting without reference to the law, and as the book shows, there is a considerable body of legislation which underpins the subject. Because it is a practical guide, the book does not seek to analyse this complex legislative regime. What it offers is an introduction to crofting law for anyone who is interested in the subject, does not already have a strong grasp of the subject, and wants to understand the layout of the ground in front of them.

Each chapter concerns a key topic necessary to understanding crofting law. The purpose of each chapter is to explain that topic by a discussion of the main points a person with little or no knowledge of the subject needs to have in order to understand it. There are frequent references to other sources of useful information, which is a very useful aspect of the book.

Crofts can be in the form of tenanted land, owner-occupied land, or deemed crofts. The text points out that identifying tenanted land as a croft can be complex, but highlights the practical significance of the effect of a croft having been entered onto the Register of Crofts. It also provides a helpful definition of what constitutes an owner-occupied croft. Other topics covered by the book include buying a croft (whether it is tenanted or owner-occupied), removing croft land from crofting regulation, sub-leasing a croft, and transferring the owner or tenant’s interest in a croft following the death of a crofter.

This book is a useful introduction to a notoriously difficult and specialised area of law. It is written in a clear and understandable style. The author is a very well-known lawyer who has dedicated many years of practice to the subject. He has brought that experience to this book, distilling down the many intricacies of the law to its “real world” essentials. For those wanting to understand how crofting works, this book provides them with what they need to know.

Robert Sutherland, Advocate, MCIArb

A Practical Guide to Crofting Law by Brian Inkster provides an easy-to-follow overview of crofting law, its history and its complexities.

This will be an essential tool for those contemplating the acquisition of a croft, those new to crofting, or indeed any existing crofter considering altering the administrative status quo of his or her holding and seeking guidance.
Whether assignation, succession, resumption, sublet, development, purchase of a tenanted croft from its landowner, or any other of the many processes required by statute, this book will guide you through the intricate web of legislation.

Equally practical for landowners, agents, advisers and anyone interested in the subject, this layman’s handbook will be a frequently-read resource.

Explanations of the working of the Scottish Land Court and the Crofting Commission, and reference to crofters’ representative organisation the Scottish Crofting Foundation, fill in the vital background detail of crofting. A brief overview of the grants system for crofters is an added bonus, as are pointers on how to find a croft to take on, and the various ways that can be done.
When I was crofting adviser for the Scottish Crofters Union back in the late eighties and the nineties, my copy of Flyn and MacCuish’s  Crofting Law was a well-thumbed source which enabled me to help our members with some of the myriad issues which challenge crofters and crofting representatives alike.

Brian Inkster’s work will fulfil the same role, and when used in conjunction with Flyn and Graham’s 2017 book Crofting Law, and reference to the findings of the Scottish Land Court, will provide chapter and verse on crofting legalities.

Fiona Mandeville, Crofter; former employee, Scottish Crofters Union; former Chair, Scottish Crofting Federation; and editor of the Scottish Crofting Federation’s publication ‘The Crofter’