Life as a Scottish crofter as coronavirus lockdown begins

Crofter SM Farm

A new series starting on BBC ALBA next Monday follows Scottish crofter Donald Macsween as coronavirus lockdown begins.

Donald, better know as ‘Sweeny’, runs a croft in Ness, Isle of Lewis.

The series – entitled An Lot – An Glasadh and subtitled in English – follows him as he copes with a lack of tourism and other challenges during lockdown.

In the first episode, broadcast on Monday, July 27, we see the assembly of the first polycrub, which was delayed at the end of last year due to the harsh winter weather.

Sweeny heads to Leanach Farm in Culloden where his sheep have been wintering, and news of the coronavirus hits, with rumours that the country might go into lockdown.

How does Sweeny feel about the situation and what do the weeks ahead hold for him?

In the second episode, on August 3, the whole country is in lockdown and Sweeny is adjusting and working out how to keep the croft going during these challenging times.

With no camera crew permitted to visit for now, he is also getting to grips with self-shooting.

Good news arrives amongst the chaos in the form of a new calf being born, he is also very excited about the opportunity to put the polycrub into use during lambing and he receives more good news, which will make a big difference to life on the croft in Ness for the year ahead.

The final episode, on August 10, Sweeny is affected by loss on the croft.

The shears come out, and this is not for the task of shearing the sheep, as you would have imagined!

As he gets organised for an essential day trip to Uist, how does he feel about making this journey and what preparation needs to be done?

There is also a lot of excitement on the croft as Sweeny is getting ready to pick up the brand new telehandler from the ferry and finally, he gives us his thoughts on the easing up of lockdown, questioning his future as a full time crofter.


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