Gallan Head mark year with Burns event

An aerial shot of Gallan Head with the community hub, Gallan Beag, in the foreground.  Picture by Richard Davies
An aerial shot of Gallan Head with the community hub, Gallan Beag, in the foreground. Picture by Richard Davies

The Gallan Head Community Trust is taking stock and celebrating its first year of achievements as a community land owner with a Burns ceilidh, bonfire and torchlit procession.

The Trust is holding a Burns supper and bonfire this Saturday evening at 7pm to mark its first year as the legal custodian of Gallan Head, the intriguing former cold war radar base in Aird, Uig.

Gallan Head Community Trust has achieved much in its first 12 months as a community landowner.

It has successfully purchased and converted a house on the edge of the headland in to a popular restaurant (The Edge – reopening mid February), crafts shop and community and visitor hub.

It has raised additional funds to begin land remediation works and landscaping: 420 trees were donated by The Woodlands Trust and the Scottish Landfills Community Fund granted over £5000 for further improvements.

At the end of last year, the Trust appointed a part-time Project Development Worker for two years: the £30,000 funding for this post, along with £10,000 to finance projects, was generously granted by the People’s Health Trust.

The group’s major focus is to progress its plans to create a multi-purpose observatory on Gallan Head, with the invaluable help and advice of the Stornoway Astronomical Society.

The Cetus Observatory will continue Gallan Head’s history as a place of observation: powerful telescopes to view the stars, and a hydrophone to listen to the sounds of passing whales.

The observatory will hold an internet operated robotic telescope, a small radio telescope, a small radar, a solar telescope, a planetarium, a space exhibition, giant wide field binoculars for viewing cetaceans and birdlife, nature webcams, a café, educational facilities, and a small shop.

Outside there will be a circular path around the headland, in some places leading to observation shelters, excellent for marine life spotting walks or night-time star gazing.