FIOS COLUMN – 29 MARCH 2016
In January 2007 the communities of the Galson estate completed the purchase of the land, which means the 10 year anniversary is approaching promptly. A series of exciting activities will be planned for a year of celebration across the estate, but one very critical part of all the planning is a forward strategy, to plan what the vision is for the estate area for the next 10 years and beyond!
The past 10 years have seen some large scale projects undertaken and completed. These have been vital to support the sustainability of the estate, but from this period onwards there is a need to review the current situation and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the estate as a whole. A consultation process has been launched and two planning events have been held. The next stage of the process is outreach meetings to groups who already meet on a regular basis, focus groups for different sectors and finally a household survey. It is hoped these different activities can allow everyone have an input into the plan, which we hope to publish towards the end of the year.
Most townships across the estate have signed up to the rabbit scheme and the team of local hunters have started to make some impact on the population. However, it is recognised that the time of year is not the best and Autumn would be more ideal. The pilot scheme will aim to reduce numbers and it is hoped a mechanism will be established for allowing townships to procure the services of the local team on an ongoing basis. It is worth noting that SNH’s licensed greylag goose shooting has been extended until 16 April on Lewis and Harris. The extension will help volunteer hunters to meet the Lewis and Harris goose management pilot’s agreed cull target for 2016.
The Habost Household Recycling site will operate a Summer timetable from 4th April until October. The timetable of opening hours is available in this copy of Fios or on the UOG website www.galsontrust.com
In other news, we have been given one opportunity (without penalty) to have all the Common Grazings maps amended. It has become apparent, as many will have expected, that some areas of land have been omitted from some townships. If you believe there are areas or small packages of land missed off the map your township submitted, then it is worthwhile getting in touch with the office. We have been trying to support this pilot project led by the Crofting Commission, but 5 years later it would seem the register is still quite some way off being completed accurately and rather unhelpfully it looks like penalties could be imposed, indicating it is perhaps more than just a “pilot” project! Please note this “one-off” is for Common Grazings, not Croft Registrations.
Finally, we still have a couple of spaces left for the dry stone walling course which will take place on 8th & 9th April. For more details see the advert in this issue of Fios or contact the office 01851 850393 / firstname.lastname@example.org