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Deer Forest Royal Commission of Inquiry, 1892 (III)

Deer Forest Royal Commission of Inquiry, 1892 (III)

Background to the Deer Forest Royal Commission of Inquiry, 1892, by Angus "Ease" Macleod, Calbost and Marybank.

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In the case of the Park Deer Forest in the Parish of Lochs, the Deer Forest Commission did not schedule any land under Category No.1 - yellow. Apparently the Commission felt that there was no land there that was suitable for new crofter holdings. That was an unusual conclusion considering that the whole peninsula was occupied by crofters until they were evicted during that century. Also, one third of the peninsula was occupied by crofters at that time and the land was of the same nature throughout the whole peninsula.

The numerous landless cottars of Lochs were bitterly disappointed with the Deer Forest Commission Report. There was nothing in it for them because it was not convenient for them to take up the land that was scheduled under category 2 - pink, as land that was suitable for extensions to grazings by neighbouring crofters.

The Park Deer Forest survived unscathed after the Royal Commission, and the landless cottars were left as before in overcrowded barns and temporary homes on their friends' lands. The Deer Forest Commission was a political manoeuvre, and at the end of the millennium the Park Deer Forest is still intact as one unit extending to 44,000 acres of sterilized land, while most of the local crofter population have by now given up the struggle. Once again, the landowners won the contest.

There were 3,000,000 acres of land exclusively devoted to sport when the Deer Forest Commission was set up, and only 11 per cent, or just over 326,000 acres, were scheduled by the Commission.

Although the remit of the Deer Forest Commission only provided for the Commission to schedule the available suitable land, nevertheless, certain members thought it advisable to add, that the profitable cultivation, or advantageous occupation of the scheduled lands could only be obtained under a well considered scheme of land purchase by a representative body possessed with full powers for carrying out properly defined regulations both as to the selection of tenants for new holdings and also for all grazings scheduled.

That advice was followed by the Government some 5 years later when, in 1887, the Congested District Board was set up to purchase land.

 

Title: Deer Forest Royal Commission of Inquiry, 1892 (III)
Record Type: Historical Events
Type: Land Issues
Date: 1892
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 60864