Mustn’t forget this is supposed to be a research trip. Ahem!
Compare and Contrast: Crofting in the Outer Hebrides, and the crofting equivalent in Lanzarote.
Well, there’s so many similarities. For a start, of course, both the Canary islands and the Outer Hebrides are archipelagos in the Atlantic. Lots of small-scale, part-time family farms, the older generations still out in the fields whilst the young ones are at work. They work together evenings and weekends on the bigger tasks. A wide open, bare landscape, subject to strong winds. Some sort of common grazing arrangements for the high sierra. Island communities, distant from markets. Rural depopulation frees up houses for use as holiday lets. But many are left to fall into ruins – especially the remotest fincas, up in the mountains.
Biggest differences? Rainfall! And the volcanic ash is, when weathered, extremely fertile. Unlike our unforgiving bedrock – Lewisian Gneiss.
J thinks the common grazings in Eriskay are over-grazed and meagre, but it amazes me that these hills support as many sheep and goats as they appear to!
Sorry about the leaning pictures. I think the strong sunshine is affecting my sense of balance!