OS map extracts and plans

This guidance covers ordering and using an Ordnance Survey map extract to prepare a plan suitable for registration in the Crofting Register.

Extracts will come at an appropriate scale for registration criteria. They include sufficient surrounding detail to enable the position of the croft to be fixed with accuracy. They also display the scale, orientation and an OS maptile reference for the area.

If you have more than one croft, you can use the same extract for each. You'll still need to complete a separate application and fee for each croft. Clearly reference each croft on your plan and cross-reference the crofts on your application form.

Order an extract

To order an OS map extract, you should provide us with:

  • your name, contact details and address
  • sufficient information for us to cover the correct area on the plan extract we provide

As a general rule, you should supply the name of the croft with the postal address of any croft house situated on the croft, with a postcode.

It’s also useful if you let us know:

  • the approximate size of the croft
  • details of boundary features, such as roads, rivers or mean high water spring
  • copies of any existing plans that show the full extent of the croft

Send this information to croftenquiries@ros.gov.uk or call us on 0131 659 4513.

We’ll send you a paper copy of the OS map extract, along with an invoice for the service. The fee for an OS map extract is £25 plus VAT.

Create a plan

Read detailed guidance on creating a plan suitable for registration in the Crofting Register.

The example plan below shows a range of options that should be considered when preparing your plan. The land to be registered must be clearly indicated by means of suitable graphic references, eg edging or tinting.

An example plan for the registration of a croft. Based on the OS map, it shows two crofts shaded in blue and edged in red, along with along with a resumption shaded grey, a decrofted area shaded orange, and area of permanent apportionment shaded yellow.

On the example plan, Croft 1 has been shown by a red edge and follows existing OS features. Croft 2 is slightly more complex and the main croft extent has been tinted blue by shading in pencil and the permanent apportionment has been edged in yellow. For large areas of ground, we recommend that edging is used. There are no restrictions to the colours you can use so long as each area shown on the plan is clearly identifiable.

Edging and tinting
When edging or tinting the areas to be included in your application, you should ensure that you are consistent when following the OS feature that represents the boundary of your croft. Do not switch from the inside to the outside edge when edging along a feature. Large nib or highlighter marker pens should be avoided or used with care if edging method is being used, as they can cover several features on the map making it difficult to determine the boundary feature that is intended to be followed.

Apportionments, resumption areas and decrofted areas

If your croft has been subject to decrofting or resumption within the last 20 years, or includes an apportionment, you can use the existing Decrofting Direction, Resumption Order or Apportionment Order plan to identify these areas, provided that the plan meets with our criteria. Where possible, RoS will work with existing plans so long as they are of a suitable standard. Copies of Decrofting Direction and Apportionment Order plans can be obtained by contacting the Crofting Commission (info@crofting.scotland.gov.uk) and Resumption Order plans can be obtained by contacting the Scottish Land Court (slcourtmailbox@scotland.gsi. gov.uk). Please note that the extent of the original apportionment, resumption orders or decrofting direction will take precedence over extents shown on a plan prepared specifically for croft registration.

If the existing plans are not of a suitable standard, any decrofting or resumption areas within the last 20 years and/or any apportionments will have to be identified by means of suitable graphic reference on your plan. These references must differ from the reference provided for the main croft extent. On the example plan above an apportionment has been edged yellow, a decrofted area with Decrofting Direction dated 16/02/1999 has been tinted orange and a resumption area with Resumption Order dated 09/11/2004 has been tinted brown.

Explain your references

A key should be added to the plan, or an explanation of the references shown on the plan should be given in the additional information section of the application form.

Information relating to the features that make up the boundaries of the croft is not mandatory but can often be useful when multiple features exist in close proximity. For example F-G is bounded by the mean high water spring or “Where the croft is bounded by a road, the croft boundary is the verge of the road” or “Where the croft is bounded by the river, the croft boundary is the east bank of the river”.

If you think that the map is becoming too cluttered or there is not enough space to write the measurements on the plan, the measurements can be added to the key or noted in the additional information section of the application form.

Care should be taken when preparing a plan when the boundaries do not follow OS features shown on the extract. The following two paragraphs describe how to do this for the croft coloured blue, orange and edged yellow on the example plan. Please note that the majority of application plans will not be as complex as the croft coloured blue on the example plan.

Undefined boundaries and tie-in measurements

Where a boundary is undefined and is not an extension from an existing OS feature then additional references to the perimeter dimensions are required. You may need to include at least two measurements to fix the position of an undefined feature, depending on the complexity of the boundary.

On the example plan the boundary of the main croft extent tinted blue and labelled I-J is undefined. In order to fix this boundary to the existing features, the measurements H-I and J-K are required.

The boundaries of the apportionment edged yellow and labelled Q-R and R-B are also undefined. In order to accurately fix these boundaries to the existing features the measurements P-Q, Q-R, R-B and cross diagonal A-R are required.

Where tie-in measurements are not required

When an undefined boundary is an extension of an existing feature, no tie-in measurement is necessary. On the example plan, the boundary labelled E-F is undefined but is a continuation of defined boundary D-E. Therefore, the position of the undefined boundary can be plotted accurately by simply extending the defined boundary in a straight line in a south westerly direction until it reaches the mean high water spring (shown on the plan by a thick blue line).

Centre line of a river or stream – no measurements are required if the boundary follows the centre line of a river or stream so long as this is noted on the plan or in the additional information section of the application form.


For enquiries and assistance, get in touch with the Crofting Register team.

Email: croftenquiries@ros.gov.uk

Phone: 0131 659 4513

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