Crofter Donald MacSween – or Sweeny as he is better known to many – captured the imagination of BBC ALBA viewers last year as he tried to turn his passion for crofting in to a full-time occupation.
Now a year on, BBC ALBA returns to The Croft for a new six-part series to see how his plans for year two are progressing.
Sweeny, from Ness on the Isle of Lewis, was given his croft by his parents as a 21st birthday present. He’s had an interest in animals and crofting since he was a wee boy, spending a lot of time with his grandfather and his parents on the land.
As we join him in early Spring, he’s gathering the sheep in from the moor ahead of lambing. Having expanded his flock from 60 to 80, it will be a particularly busy time for him and his Dad who is never too far away to lend a helping hand.
Hens and eggs were the main focus for Sweeny in turning his croft into a diverse business venture and hens are still at the forefront of its development. With the hens now two years old, egg production has decreased and Sweeny needs to consider buying new hens. Despite this, there are still a steady number of eggs being distributed to local shops throughout the island.
Many crofters diversify to make a living from their land, and this programme follows Sweeny as he discusses plans to increase his pig stock. With three pregnant sows now on the croft it will hopefully not be long before this is a reality for him.
Mum and Dad are again at the centre of things offering a variety of support to Sweeny without which he couldn’t continue with all that he does.
With many more new ventures planned by Sweeny, The Croft once again is a fascinating place to be as he continues with his ambitions to make a diverse, full-time living off the land.
The Croft / An Lot, a six-part series produced by MacTV for BBC ALBA, starts on Monday 12 December at 8.30 until 9.00pm.