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Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and its partners across the Galson Estate are in high spirits after the success of two spring event programmes.

Late March saw the launch of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn’s (UOG) new maritime heritage festival, ‘Fèis na Fairge’ (‘Festival of the Sea’). 

Between March 25-27, a series of events pertaining to the maritime heritage of the Galson Estate community got underway.  These included a community beach clean-up, a sea-themed Bookbug session for toddlers and pre-school children, and a series of online illustrated talks and events. 

Artist and author Ian Stephen led a session on the craft of the Sgoth Niseach, diver and amateur archaeologist Chris Murray gave a talk on his finds in lochs across the Isle of Lewis, and a screening of the 1996 film ‘Ringers’ Glory’ was held, after which the film’s producer Angela Mackinnon joined the audience for a Q&A session. 

Murdanie Macleod and Alasdair Smith also gave a well-attended talk, in which they discussed their time spent in the Merchant Navy.  Attendees across the Estate and from throughout the United Kingdom came in on these free-to-join events, with many participants subsequently writing to the Trust to say that they had thoroughly enjoyed the festival.

To see any of the recorded ‘Fèis na Fairge’ events, please go to www.galsontrust.com/news and click the link.

Then between March 29 and April 2, ‘Plòigh’ and ‘Plòigh Mhòr’, the school holiday activity programme, made its return.  With a wide range of activities available to both 5-11 year olds and 12 years plus, including woodland play, spring crafts, kayaking and biking on the machair, almost every event was sold-out. 

Lindy Cameron Saunders, Development Officer for Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn said: “This year’s Easter ‘Plòigh’ has been a rip-roaring success.  Almost every session throughout the week was fully booked, and we had a great time in the outdoors with our young people. 

"Congratulations to all of our partners on another successful ‘Plòigh’.  We are all looking forward to our next programme of ‘Plòigh’ activities, which will take place in the summer.”

‘Plòigh’ hosts activities during the Easter, summer and October holidays.  ‘Plòigh’ activities are usually aimed at Sgoil Àraich (nursery) and primary-aged children, whilst ‘Plòigh Mhòr’ is aimed at secondary-aged children on the Galson Estate. 

Both holiday clubs are run as a joint partnership between Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, spòrsnis, RSPB, Taigh Dhonnchaidh, Guth Airson Iarrtasan Nis (GAIN), Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG), and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES).

Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn now look forward to their next schedule of events, including summer ‘Plòigh’ and ‘Dùthchas’, their annual heritage festival.  For further information, please visit www.ploigh.co.uk, or www.duthchas.com.