‘What a beast!’ When crofting goes hi-tech

A CROFTER on the Isle of Lewis is celebrating the difference modern technology has made to him and his neighbours.

Donald MacSween, who gave up a job with the local council to become a crofter, won the use of a telehandler for free for a year as part of The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s New Holland ‘Up to Speed’ Scheme.

MacSween – who has 500 laying hens, 150 breeding ewes, Gloucester Old Spot pigs, and some Highland cows – said: “What a difference this machine has made so far.

“It can go anywhere, do anything, lift anything.

“It makes things so much safer for me, and I just can’t tell you the difference it has made to be on the croft.

“What a beast!”

MacSween is the star of the BBC Alba documentary The Croft/An Lot, which follows him as he finds his feet as a full-time crofter, sharing his highs and lows.

When he won the award, MacSween said: “I have been dreaming of a telehandler for a few years but I haven’t been able to afford one. 

“This will make such a difference to me and my neighbours, we can now be much more efficient and safer in the work that we do.

“I currently have a 40-year-old tractor, so I will have to get up to speed with how technology has improved.”

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