13B Sweeny.
Crofting (small scale subsistence farming with perhaps a cow, a few sheep, chickens and a few crops) is a traditional form of farming in the Outer Hebrides, and a way of maintaining connection to the land. Donald MacSween (Sweeny), like many other crofters, is passionate about his croft, but most have to supplement their croft with another income. Sweeny, from Ness, is involved with a community organisation that teaches crofting to young people to encourage them to stay on the islands.

During the Highland Clearances thousands of crofters were evicted to make way for larger estates for sheep farming. They were either moved onto small, leased crofts or became unemployed and migrated to the burghs or overseas. The Government incentives of free or assisted passage to Australia after 1832 attracted Highlanders and Islanders who were close to destitution.

In 1886 the Crofters Act gave crofters security of tenure and allowed families to pass the crofts on to their next generation. Today crofting is a way of life and represents a strong link to family and place.

Communities in Scotland with a population of less than ten thousand have the first right to buy land if it comes up for sale by the landowner, and many have taken up this challenge with success, including the community of Ness where Donald belongs.