Throughout the Geopark, traditional ways of living and working are very much a part of daily life. The largest centres of population are Lochinver, Kinlochbervie and Durness. Many settled areas follow the pattern of crofting communities.
A croft is a small agricultural unit averaging around five hectares in size together with some hill grazing shared with other local crofters. The main product of Highland crofts is lamb and beef, but many crofters are diversifying into other areas such as small-scale tourism, fruit and vegetable production, weaving or teleworking.
Most crofters and their families also engage in off-croft employment to supplement croft income. Tourism and related industries provide good employment opportunities in the area, followed by public administration, education and health services. Other key areas of employment include transport and communications, agriculture and fishing and construction work.
Crofting is fundamental to the area’s heritage and a vital component in its future. Creating the conditions for a sustainable future has seen the introduction of a number of new technologies including renewable and green energy initiatives as well as energy efficient housing.