A Sense of People and Place:
The Galson Estate Trust.
About this project
This series of photographs highlight the diverse range of people involved in the stewardship of a community land trust; Galson Estate Trust, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
In 2007 the Galson Estate in the north of the Isle of Lewis was purchased by the community. This is the community where I grew up and still live. As we approached the 10 year anniversary of the buyout I felt a need to document the key members involved. Over a ten year period there have obviously been numerous people involved at different stages, so I have decided to focus my attention on the current Board of Directors.
This community has very close ties with the land, the crofting lifestyle, and the people of the community. These ties are reflected in the membership of the Board of Directors, which this photographic project has documented.
This is only the first part of an on-going documentary project, in which I hope to document the wider community of the Galson estate area, in the lead up to the 10 year anniversary celebrations.
What is The Galson Estate Trust?
Galson Estate Trust is a community-owned estate of 56,000 acres of coast, agricultural land and moor in the north-west corner of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The estate comprises 22 villages and a population of nearly 2,000 people, many of whom are engaged in traditional croft management and use Gaelic as their first language.
In 2007, after local consultations, the community formed a company to buy and manage the land on which they live and work. Each year, elections are held to approve a board to govern the company in its efforts to develop and improve the estate and to re-invest in the locality for the benefit of the residents and the wider community.
The Board of Directors
The Trust is managed by a board of volunteer directors, all of whom are elected by the Urras membership. There are currently (in 2016) ten elected Board members.
This project was on display at "More than a Degree Show", at Edinburgh Napier University from 20-29th May 2016.
It was also on exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London from June 23-27th as part of Free Range Graduate Show 2016.