Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has warned that the costs of social care may be putting the family ownership of crofts in the Western Isles at risk.
Mr Cameron spoke out after being contacted by constituents concerned that crofts are having to be sold in order to meets the costs of residential care.
The Scottish Conservative MSP, who is a member of the cross-party group on crofting in the Scottish Parliament and specialised in crofting law before being elected, said:
“I am increasingly alarmed by accounts I have personally received from locals who are desperately worried that they are going to lose crofts which may have been held by them for generations.
“We are witnessing a situation where crofts, which were intended to be handed down to the next generation, may have to be relinquished to meet escalating costs of care for an elderly relative.
“Understandably this is causing considerable distress.
“Crofting is, of course, a system of land holding, but it means so much more than that, and is part of the cultural heritage of these islands.
“I fear we could lose much of crofting’s traditions if we allow it to be disrupted to a significant extent by families having to meet these costs.
“This issue need to be addressed and I intend to pursue the matter in the Scottish Parliament.”