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What’s Inside?

Year of History and Heritage Dark Sky Places Conference Accessible Forests Something Fishy Discover Loch Doon Events & Activities & more!

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Welcome Forests for all Galloway hosts Europe’s first International Dark Skies conference 5 Lighting the way Observing the Universe 6 Discover Loch Doon 8 Exploring the Biosphere 9 History, heritage and archaeology in the Galloway Forest Park 10/11 Forest Park map 12 History, heritage and archaeology continued 13 A designed landscape 14 Underwater wonderland 15 Protecting Galloway’s native fish Fishing in the Forest Park 16 Horse riding in the Galloway Forest Park 17 On the trail of Red Kites 18 Stay safe on the hills Walking the bye-ways of Galloway 19 Galloway Forest Park 2017 Events 20 Forest Fun Photography: Front cover - Mick Durham, Keith Kirk, Ian Findlay, Peter Devlin, Robert Ince, B. Mitchell, David Henderson, Dave Currie, Paul Roberts, Nic Coombey, Isobel Cameron, Lucy Hadley, Colin Hattersley, Keith Muir Design & production by: Findlay Design Editorial by: Indigo Words

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The Galloway Ranger

elcome to the 2017 Galloway Ranger, your guide to the great outdoors of the Galloway Forest Park. This is Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology so we thought this the perfect issue to introduce you to some of the historic sites and built heritage in and around the Forest Park. If you flick to either side of the middle pages of this year’s Ranger you’ll find a visitors’ guide to some of the fascinating heritage sites in the Park. Oftentimes these can be passed unnoticed, so we thought it was time to showcase the stories and the importance of these historic places. 2017 is also a big year for the Galloway Dark Sky Park when we host Europe’s first International Dark Sky Places Conference. Taking place in September the conference will bring the world’s leading dark sky experts together under the famously dark Galloway sky to discuss why dark skies matter. As well as looking up at the beautifully dark night skies, we are also spending time delving deep into the waters of the Galloway Forest Park, to discover

It’s Great Outdoors! the fascinating fish that frequent our lochs and rivers. And we’re heading north into South Ayrshire to explore the stunning Loch Doon, which, thanks to its resident osprey pair, is attracting more and more visitors each year eager to watch the antics of these two majestic raptors and their chicks. Whatever you’re into, we hope you find this year’s Galloway Ranger encourages you to explore something new in the Galloway Forest Park. With more than 300 square miles of mixed woodland, hundreds of miles of walking, mountain-biking and horse riding trails, plentiful fishing-friendly lochs and rivers, landscape art and engaging wildlife; the Galloway Forest Park offers a world of adventure in the great outdoors. If you use twitter, why not tweet us the story of your #GreatDaysOut – we’d love to hear about your perfect days in the Galloway Forest Park! Follow us on @gallowayforest

Useful contact details Galloway Forest Park Visitor Centres Kirroughtree – 01671 402165 Clatteringshaws – 01644 420221 Glentrool – 01671 840302 Forest Enterprise Scotland Galloway Forest Park Office, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire DG8 6AJ Tel: 0300 067 6800 Police Non-emergency – 101 Emergency – 999 (For Mountain Rescue dial 999 and ask for Police) Galloway Mountain Rescue Detailed mountain weather forecast for Galloway available online at www.gallowaymrt.org.uk NHS 24 – 08454 24 24 24 VisitScotland Information Centres Castle Douglas – 01556 502611 (seasonal) Dumfries – 01387 253862 Gretna – 01461 337834

Kirkcudbright – 01557 330494 Moffat – 01683 220620 (seasonal) Southwaite – 01697 473445 Stranraer – 01776 702595 Information Point (in partnership with VisitScotland) Gatehouse-of-Fleet – 01557 814212 Vets Newton Stewart: Creebridge Veterinary Centre – 01671 402247 Whithorn: The Priory Veterinary Centre – 01988 500356 Castle Douglas: Dunmuir Veterinary Group – 01556 502400 Castle Douglas: Stewartry Veterinary Centre – 01556 502263 Kirkcudbright: Galloway Vet Group – 01557 330632

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Forests for all

surface for areas where there is a lot of leaf fall and water drips from the canopy. Once the path surface was laid, earth was banked up to stabilise the edges, and local granite was used as a cover for a culvert to blend isitor numbers to the Galloway Forest Park available in the café, which with the landscape. The trail have grown steadily since the recent caters for all dietary leads to an accessible hide I visited Kirroughtree investment in facilities at Kirroughtree, requirements, including fussy where squirrels, woodland recently - what great facilities Clatteringshaws and Glentrool Visitor Centres. toddlers! birds and deer visit the feeders, especially for people with For increasing numbers of people a trip to the The changing places toilet and the trial and hide is popular Galloway Forest Park is top of their list for within the centre means that with all visitors to the forest. additional physical needs. favourite days out in Galloway, and this is people who are not able to use For visitors with young The spacious disabled toilet, particularly true for people where a family standard accessible toilets can children, with and without helpful and polite staff, member or friend has a disability or access need. use the facilities here in safety access needs, there are great wonderful scenery and great Naturally, everyone should be able to enjoy and comfort. Kirroughtree is fun play parks with adapted paths for walking short or spending time in the countryside; but for people currently the only changing and accessible play equipment. with a disability it's not always easy. The last census places toilet in the whole of While more adventurous long distances. showed that one in five people in Dumfries and Galloway, and it means that visitors can even hire an Jackie Lochhead Galloway have a long term health problem or people with the most profound electric mountain bike, which is disability. For people with mobility difficulties, lack needs can have a full and perfect for cyclists who might of access to facilities can be a enjoyable day in the great now need a bit more oomph! barrier to enjoying what able outdoors. The Galloway Forest Park is for everyone and bodied people take for The Wild Watch Trail at whatever your access or mobility needs might be, The changing places granted. For example, paths Kirroughtree is a good example our goal is to help you enjoy spending time in the room is a huge draw for our need to be as accessible as of how thinking about great outdoors. visit. It means Kirroughtree is possible, with clear, consistent accessibility is improving and information to help people enriching visitor experiences for somewhere we can visit for choose the path that's right everyone who visits the forest. the whole day as you have for them. A firm commitment The idea behind it was to create all the facilities we need. to accessibility in the Galloway a fully accessible trail starting Kirsty Dey and Forest Park means the forest is from the visitor centre to Joyce McMeikan now more accessible than ever connect all the newly installed before. features, while enhancing the Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, just 3.5 miles from enjoyment of all visitors to the forest. Newton Stewart, is a great place to visit for people The trail includes a variety of surface finishes, all of all ages and abilities. Disabled parking bays are meeting full accessibility standards, with some plentiful and there is a variety of tasty treats sections constructed of sealed concrete - a stable

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Dave Currie - www.galloway-photography.co.uk

Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park featured in international calendar

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he beautiful starry skies of Galloway have been recognised by the Dark Sky governing body and will feature alongside some amazing astrophotography from around the world in the International Dark Sky Association’s 2017 calendar. The photo, titled ‘Loch Ken Stars’ was taken by Dave Currie of Galloway Photography. He said: “I was overjoyed to hear my image had been included in the IDA Calendar. Our Dark Sky Park here in Galloway is a wonderful asset for the area and is as good as any around the world. I’m proud to be given the opportunity to showcase it on an international platform like this.”

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Galloway hosts Europe’s first International Dark Skies conference

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alloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is to host Europe’s first International Dark Sky Places Conference. Taking place in September this year the conference will bring the world’s leading dark sky experts together under the famously dark Galloway sky to discuss and promote rural development and tourism. The theme of the event is ‘It’s more than light’ and the conference aims to facilitate dialogue between planners, lighting engineers, astronomers, academics, humanitarians and environmentalists to set out the benefits that Dark Sky Places add to our environment. Another aim of the conference is to educate and inform people about the problems that light pollution is causing on a global scale. The conference is being organised by Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, the International Dark Sky Association and Forest Enterprise Scotland,

which manages the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. Keith Muir, Forest Enterprise Scotland’s Visitor Services Manager for the area said: “This is really good news in terms of putting the south west of Scotland firmly on the map as an international stargazing destination. Galloway Forest Park was the first area in Europe to achieve Dark Sky Park status and we are keen to share our experience and to learn from others by being the first in Europe to host such a major conference. “All the partners involved will be working together to make sure the conference is a success and that it showcases Galloway as a great place to live, work and play. We’re very excited about this major event and the potential spin offs it should create for the local economy.” Forming the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Galloway Forest

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Lighting the way

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umfries and Galloway Council has long been supportive of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park initiative and it was the first local authority in Scotland to commit to regionwide LED lighting, with a long term vision of becoming Europe’s first dark sky reserve. For Alistair Speedie, Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure at Dumfries and Galloway Council, maximising the value of the environment and landscape to prospective tourists is a key part of the region’s economic strategy. He said: “We have an exceptional environment and wonderful natural assets, so making those assets available and accessible to tourists is extremely important. Sitting at the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Dark Sky Park is part of one of our region’s flagship natural assets, and we are keen to see the benefits of dark skies extended. “Dumfries and Galloway Council has already committed to becoming a carbon neutral region, and the reduction in energy consumption and in carbon emissions by switching to LED lighting is helping us move towards achieving that goal.”

Park was designated Dark Sky Status back in November 2009. The very low level of light pollution demonstrated by the 23.6 readings on the sky quality meter – which can only read up to 25 – helped the area achieve Gold Tier status as a Dark Sky Park. John Barentine Program Director for the International Dark Sky Association based in Arizona said: “It is a testament to the momentum behind the global effort to recognise and protect dark skies worldwide that this international conference is to be held. Further, it is especially fitting that the event will be held near Galloway Forest, where it can be said the movement scored its first major victory for dark skies preservation in Europe. The International Dark Sky Association is proud to have a seat at the table for this important gathering.”

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“From a dark skies perspective, replacing traditional sodium lights with LED streetlights is helping to significantly limit light pollution. We expect to complete the roll out of LED lights by March 2018 and more than £1million under budget.” This innovative approach to street lighting, initiated by Dumfries and Galloway Council, is now being replicated by other local authorities across Scotland, resulting in significant reductions in energy use, carbon emissions and light pollution across the country. Mr Speedie added: “Dumfries and Galloway’s rural landscape is, at heart, a working landscape. It is our responsibility as a local authority to make that landscape work for the benefit of local communities, creating jobs and economic opportunities. “The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park adds significantly to our region’s tourism offering. I am delighted to see Dumfries and Galloway hosting this year’s Dark Sky Park Conference and I look forward to sharing our experience of creating lightpollution free darkness so that everyone can enjoy beautiful starry nights.”

Joan Mitchell, Chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere said: “The Dark Sky Park is an integral part of the Biosphere, between them they offer a 24/7 attraction in south west Scotland, offering the opportunity to celebrate and explore the region’s landscapes and wildlife during the day and the dark skies at night. Hosting Europe’s first ever Dark Sky Park conference is a fantastic opportunity to help put this often over looked corner of Scotland on the map.” The conference takes place from 20th to 22nd Sept 2017 at the Cally Palace Hotel in Gatehouse of Fleet. It has been scheduled to run just before the Wigtown Book Festival to encourage delegates to stay longer in the region. Other dark sky related events are being organised to run alongside the conference, including a Sanctuary Dark Sky event in the Galloway Forest Park.

Observing the Universe

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he Scottish Dark Sky Observatory offers a spectacular stargazing experience from atop its hilltop site on the edge of the Dark Sky Park at Loch Doon. The observatory includes a 20” Corrected Dall Kirkham telescope in a 5 metre dome and a 14” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for a more hands-on, open air observing experience. All visits to the observatory must be booked in advance, and there are options to take part in scheduled evening events, or to arrange group or private bookings. Evening sessions include a presentation and a tour of the observatory and the telescopes, and, if the skies are clear, observation of the night sky using the telescopes. Special events take place throughout the year based around particular astronomical events or featuring a guest speaker, such as astronomers and scientists focussing on topics relating to astronomy, physics, space and science. To find out more about booking a visit to the observatory, or to check forthcoming events, visit www.scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk It should be noted that the road to the observatory is rough, unfinished and steep in places. While it is passable with ordinary vehicles, care must be taken.

Dark sky events

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hether you want to take a guided stroll through the universe, learn astrophotography, watch shooting stars or aurora, or learn about our solar system’s planets and moons; a Dark Sky Event in the Galloway Forest Park is a great place to start. Hosted by inspirational Dark Sky Rangers, each one an expert in their respective fields, the varied programme of events has something for all ages and all experience levels. For the latest events visit www.forestry.gov.uk /gallowayforestpark click onto Dark Skies and then Dark Sky Events. Alternatively follow the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park page on facebook.

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Discover Loch Doon Wrapping around the northern part of the Galloway Forest Park is the stunningly beautiful Loch Doon. With a rich history, enchanting wildlife and an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, for visitors from the north, Loch Doon is the perfect gateway to the Galloway Forest Park.

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och Doon is one of the largest inland lochs in southern Scotland and, for those in the know, it is a much treasured hidden gem; offering spectacular scenery, views of the Rhinns of Kells and an atmosphere of remote wilderness that belies its easy accessibility. Located at the northern edge of the Galloway Forest Park, Loch Doon provides one of the easiest ways to discover south Ayrshire’s fine mountain scenery. It has a rich heritage; being a stronghold in the Scottish Wars of Independence, inspiring Robert Burns to write the iconic ‘Ye Banks and Braes’ that speaks of the beauty of nature at peace with itself. In more recent times, Loch Doon was the site of a WWI gunnery school and since the 1930s it has been a reservoir for the Galloway hydro-electric power scheme.

The Roundhouse

Osprey Watch

Ospreys are one of Scotland’s most spectacular birds; a striking large fish-eating raptor with a magnificent wingspan. They are gradually increasing in numbers across Galloway but remain highly protected, in fact as ospreys are a schedule 1 raptor they are given

Walks

There are various walking trails around Loch Doon that are well worth exploring. The Ness Glen is one of the most impressive and scenic. The narrow wooded gorge is akin to a Scottish ‘rain forest’, where trees and rocks thrive with a living carpet of Paul Roberts - www.dmayrshire.co.uk

A popular stop is The Roundhouse Café, a tardis-like visitor centre serving hearty food and refreshments from a building that’s a reconstruction of a traditional Scottish roundhouse. Built 30 years ago, this welcoming stop-off is a great place to get a feel for

Loch Doon and the surrounding area. The family owned and run café provides comfort and facilities, and the local knowledge and advice is second to none. This year The Roundhouse is expanding, adding a new building, a seated area, spotting scopes and an osprey viewing platform to accommodate the growing number of visitors flocking to see Loch Doon’s most famous couple; ospreys Angel and Cullen.

the highest degree of legal protection and it’s an offence to disturb a nesting site. At Loch Doon visitors are treated to incredible views of a well established nesting platform via live camera feeds, installed by Forest Enterprise Scotland. The video streams to The Roundhouse, and thousands of visitors enjoy the spectacle of Angel and Cullen raising their precious offspring. So far the osprey pair, which were named by local school children, has had three successful breeding seasons, producing offspring that have been spotted as far as the Gambia in west Africa. Their nest is located across the loch from the café, with the birds typically arriving in mid-April and their young fledging in midSeptember.

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mosses, liverworts and ferns. Well maintained paths will take you through the gorge and back up over the top to The Roundhouse. If you prefer a hike, Glessel Hill sits above The Roundhouse, providing a great short hike for some of the best views of Loch Doon.

Carrick Forest Drive

Linking Loch Doon in the east to Stinchar Bridge, south of Straiton in the west, the Carrick Forest Drive is a 6 mile linear route, open to vehicles from May to October. The route is recommended by the Biosphere (see page 8) as a way to experience the links between people, nature and landscapes in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. On the drive you can stop off to take a hike up Cornish Hill to get a taste of the wilderness and magnificent views to the Ayrshire coast and the hills of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, Shalloch on Minnoch and the mighty Merrick. Or you can stop off and enjoy a whole new perspective on life and the Biosphere around us, by spending time exploring the Rosnes Benches.

Loch Doon Castle

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uilt in the late 1200s by either Robert the Bruce or his father, Loch Doon Castle played an important role in the Scottish Wars of Independence. It changed hands repeatedly until the 16th century, when it was destroyed by King James V of Scotland as part of his campaign to reduce the power of the Barons of Galloway. The castle originally stood on Castle Island in Loch Doon, around 400 metres south of its

current site. It was carefully relocated, stone by stone, in order to preserve the unusual curtain wall from rising waters caused by the hydroelectric scheme, installed in the 1930s, which raised the water level of Loch Doon. Today Loch Doon Castle is looked after by Historic Environment Scotland, and it’s open and free of charge to visit all year round. The atmospheric ruins are near the eastern entrance to the Carrick Forest Drive and the 11-sided stone curtain wall that remains is fascinating to explore.

WEb C LiVE OSPr AMS FOr Ey ViE WiNG

tea Visit the newly erected Osprey 4 Great coffee, hot choc & Viewing Platform where you can 4 Tasty hot food & snacks observe our resident ospreys, Angel 4 Free Parking and Cullen, up close and personal in 4 Free Toilets their natural habitat without 4 Free Fishing disturbing these magnificent birds. Spotting scopes provided. Full CCTV 4 Free Wild Camping coverage of the nesting site from ! 4 And a very warm welcome mid-April to early September.

Tel: 01292 550 728

e: roundhouse.lochdoon@gmail.com Find Us: Loch Doon Dalmellington KA67QE. Just off the A713, the northern access to the Galloway Forest Park. Apr-Oct: Open 7 days a week, 9am-6pm (later if the weather’s great!) Nov-Mar: Open Sat & Sun 11am-4.30pm

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What is a UNESCO Biosphere?

UNESCO was set up after World War II to enhance peace, security and sustainable development. It does this by fostering international collaboration through its work in education, science, culture, communication and information.

Exploring the Biosphere

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hree new routes have been launched to help people explore the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. The routes aim to help visitors discover the Biosphere’s nature and landscapes, as well as the big Biosphere ideas of conservation, learning and development. The Biosphere is as much about a way of living as a place to visit, so the routes are designed to help you explore the Galloway Forest Park, and to highlight where you can find places to inspire you. Water is a recurring theme in remote lochs, bogs, wet woodlands and gushing burns and are all typical features of south west Scotland. These habitats are home to wildlife like the golden plover, black grouse, red squirrel and brown trout. Indeed, it is the water that radiates out from the Galloway hills that lies behind the international accolade of the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. Each route provides opportunities for you to see how water connects the uplands to the sea, and

provides links between people and nature. There is no single place that demonstrates how the UNESCO Biosphere designation works so each route suggests a number of attractions that meet the Biosphere principles. Loch Trool and the Cree Valley: A two-way route about 14 miles long linking Loch Trool with Newton Stewart using the quiet Wood of Cree road. Loch Ken and the River Dee: A circular route from Castle Douglas. Thirty-five miles long it follows quiet roads on the west side of Loch Ken and returns on the east side. Loch Doon and Carrick Forest Drive: A two-way 11 mile long route, linking Loch Doon with Stinchar Bridge using the Carrick Forest Drive to get into the heart of the Galloway Hills. Pick up Explore the Biosphere leaflets from visitor centres in the Galloway Forest Park, or visit the website gsabiosphere.org.uk for full details of the routes.

The centrepiece of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme is the international network of Biosphere Reserves. There are 669 Biospheres in 120 countries. Biospheres are the world’s only internationally recognised ‘badge’ for demonstrating excellence in sustainable development. The Biosphere is a flexible area designation that is voluntary and brings no additional rules. Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is an accolade that covers much of south west Scotland and has Galloway Forest Park in its heart. By agreeing to the six principles of the Biosphere individuals, groups, organisations and businesses demonstrate they are proud supporters of the Biosphere.

The Six Biosphere Principles

1. Help conserve Biosphere natural resources 2. Support the economy for the benefit of people & nature 3. Promote cultural heritage & local products 4. Contribute to the health & wellbeing of Biosphere communities 5. Develop knowledge & understanding 6. Raise awareness of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere

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2017 has been designated as Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, which makes this year the perfect time to visit the fascinating historical sites that are located within the park. All the sites of interest detailed here are marked overleaf on the centre spread map of the Galloway Forest Park.

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History, heritage and archaeology in the Galloway Forest Park

4 Kings Cairn (3,000BC)

1 Bargrennan Cairn (3,000BC)

A Neolithic chambered cairn within a clearing of the forest to the west of Glentrool Village. It consists of a burial chamber and entrance passage covered by a large circular stone cairn and would have been used by the local community for hundreds of years. Heavily robbed of its stone cairn, the Bargrennan Cairn was excavated first in 1949 by professors Piggott and Powell who left the excavation open exposing the chamber that can be seen today. Further excavation work in 2004-5 discovered Bronze Age cremation burials highlighting that the cairn had been used by the local community for an extensive period of time.

2 Bencallen Cairn (3,000BC)

The 5,000 year old Bencallen Cairn Scheduled Ancient Monument is a Neolithic chambered cairn and can be found above the road at Bencallen Hill. The chamber consists of four slabs known as ‘orthostats’, one of which has collapsed inwards, with a low ‘septal’ stone separating the chamber into two compartments. The chamber is capped with a large angular boulder and is incorporated

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within a more modern, but ruinous, sheepfold. Not much remains of the cairn body, which was probably robbed to create the sheepfold which makes use of some very large boulders that seem likely to have originated from the cairn.

3 Dunragit Mound (2,500BC)

This Scheduled Ancient Monument is a prominent mound visible to the south from the A75 at Dunragit, situated on flat ground on the northern edge of a pine plantation. The site was originally thought to be a 12th century Norman Motte, however it’s now thought that the structure is a prehistoric ritual mound. The mound is an impressive feat of engineering standing at 10m high with a level summit measuring 12m in diameter, thought to be made of angular stones and cobbles from the beach. Dunragit Mound is perhaps one of the most important archaeological features in Galloway and is often compared to the famous Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. Please note erosion from footfall is a serious issue on this site, so we ask visitors to not walk on the mound.

A Neolithic chambered cairn, named ‘King’s’ from the local tradition for the burial place of an important local chieftain. King’s Cairn is fairly large measuring 30–35m across and 3m in height with a level summit of around 15m diameter on to which a modern hikers cairn has been built. The cairn was excavated in 1928, recording chambers full of debris but with no artefacts or human remains, however, interestingly there appears to be no evidence of any previous attempt to locate the remains of the ‘King’ prior to the 1928 excavation.

5 Kirroughtree Lade (18th century industrial)

The 18th century dam and lade can be viewed from the Kirroughtree Lade Trail from Bruntis Loch. The lade was built to channel water from Bruntis Loch down to a pond above Blackcraig, which was used to power operations down at the Blackcraig Mines. The East Blackcraig together with the West Blackcraig mines was the largest and most productive metal producing mine in Galloway, operating from the mideighteenth century until the 1920s, producing lead, zinc and copper ore. Water was vital, powering rock crushing equipment and washing away waste, leaving the ore clean and ready for smelting. Smelting furnaces also used the water from the system to power the bellows for the furnace.

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6 Murray’s Monument (19th century)

8 Polmaddy Ferm-toun (16th century)

Murray’s Monument is a 80 foot tall stone obelisk built in memory of Alexander Murray on a high point above his birthplace at Dunkitterick cottage. Murray was raised a shepherd with little formal education, but self-taught in languages. Despite his humble beginnings and lack of early education he won a place at the University of Edinburgh and later became Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Edinburgh and Minister of Urr. The monument was erected in 1835, 22 years after his death and received its inscription 42 years later in 1877. The monument offers spectacular views, but perhaps the best view is when standing at the base of the obelisk looking directly up, imagining this extraordinary obelisk erected to mark the achievements of a Galloway shepherd boy!

A traditional Galloway ferm-toun (farming village), Polmaddy dates back to at least the beginning of the 16th century where the earliest records show it was owned by the Laird of Bomby in the year 1505. The settlement comprises several small farm building groups spread across the site, five corn drying kilns and several byres and barns within a series of drystone wall field boundaries. The settlement also has a mill which is marked today by a large ash tree and was fed by a stone lined lade and pond, and its own Inn named the Netherward. By the early 1800s Polmaddy was abandoned, possibly due to agricultural changes following the General Inclosure Act of 1801, which allowed landlords to join the land of small tenant farmers into larger cattle or sheep farms.

This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument set between two natural rocky outcrops on a narrow point of the Water of Minnoch. The bridge is often referred to locally as the ‘Roman Bridge’ but it has no connections with the Romans. It was most likely built as a packhorse bridge in the 17th and 18th centuries. The bridge is a steep arch built without parapets using split slabs of local whinstone with a cobbled surface. The lime mortar used in the pointing provides a base for calcareous flowers in a predominantly acidic habitat. We would not encourage visitors to cross the bridge for their own safety and for the preservation of the bridge surface.

To the north west of the village of Dunragit, in an area of mature broadleaved woodland, is the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Round Dounan Fort, thought to date back to the turn of the 1st millennium BC / AD. Little remains of what was once a mighty Iron Age stronghold apart from a small flat topped hillock; but the ditch and outer rampart can be clearly seen on the terrain model produced following an archaeological measured survey. It has been suggested that the name ‘Dunragit’ is derived from the historic kingdom of Rheged which held sway over this part of Scotland in the 4th and 5th centuries. Perhaps Round Dounan was the seat of power in the kingdom?

7 Old Bridge of Minnoch (17th century)

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9 Round Dounan Fort (1st millennium BC/1st millennium AD)

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10 Auchencloy Monument and Fergusson’s Tombstone

The walk over the rough ground to reach this site is not for the faint hearted but the Covenanters Monument of Auchecloy and Fergusson’s Tombstone are worth the trip. Both are located in the middle of rough ground over 800m from the nearest forest track and 2km from the Raiders’ Road. The impressive granite memorial pyramid of the Auchecloy monument stands 25ft high and marks the site of a brutal slaying. The story goes that in 1684 MacMichael murdered a curate of Carsphairn Church who was believed to have betrayed the names of Covenanters to Graham of Claverhouse. MacMichael escaped to Auchecloy, where he was tracked down by Claverhouse and killed along with Fergusson, Stuart and Grier. Robert Fergusson’s tombstone still stands nearby covered in lichens and engraved with skull and crossbones.

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A designed landscape C

ally Woods were once part of a great estate centred on Cally House, built for the family of James Murray of Broughton and Cally. Murray wanted to create an ideal landscape round his mansion to reflect his family’s power and prestige.

Drumroamin Farm

Camping & Caravan Site

Over the last ten years Gatehouse Development Initiative has been working with Forest Enterprise Scotland to restore and enhance important features of the Designed Landscape of Cally, to make the history and heritage of this beautiful woodland more accessible to visitors.

Cally Motte (12th century)

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he Motte is a 12th century earthen mound, just off Cally Avenue in Gatehouse of Fleet. It was built by cutting a ditch around the summit of a low ridge that occupied a strategic position in the landscape. The Motte is defended by an earthwork counter-scarp around the southern and western sides, the northern and eastern sides may have held a wooden causeway, and the top of the motte would have boasted a small timber castle. A survey of the motte in 2012 suggests the timber castle may have been destroyed by fire during the turbulent events of the later 12th century, following William the Lions’ declaration of war in 1173.

Cally Temple (18th century folly)

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uilt in 1779, the Cally Temple is a two-storey square mock-Gothic tower structure. It is the type of ornamental structure associated with the Romantic movement of the late 18th–early 19th century, and, although ornamental, the building was used as a dwelling for farmworkers. The Temple has recently undergone restoration by the Gatehouse Development Initiative, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Forest Enterprise Scotland, which removed vegetation and repointed and protected the stonework, as well as improving access and interpretation.

Friendly and privately owned site with open, level and well drained field. Fine views of Wigtown Bay and surrounding hills. Modern heated toilet/shower block. 1 South Balfern, Kirkinner, Newton Stewart Tel: 01988 840613 or 0775 247 1456

www.drumroamin.co.uk

Barend Holiday Village Escape to cosy, comfy log cabins with indoor heated pool & sauna, bar & restaurant; between Dalbeattie & Mabie Trails. From £262 Open all year

3 day minimum, any day of entry

for 4 people for 3 nights (Quote GR17 for 10% off)

Barend Holiday Village, Sandyhills, DG5 4NU

Tel: 01387 780663 www.barend.co.uk

Scottish Industrial Railway Centre

Steam hauled passenger trips over a short length of track, unique working example of a fireless steam locomotive (certain dates only), steam powered model railway, souvenir shop & tea room, based on working museum of industrial railways at the former NCB / Dalmellington Iron Company site. Open 11am – 4pm every Sunday in July & August. Other dates advertised on our website & leaflets. Free Car Park. The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is operated by registered charity Ayrshire Railway Preservation Group, SC 016127

Dunaskin, Waterside, Dalmellington, nr Ayr, KA6 7JH www.scottishindustrialrailwaycentre.org.uk info@scottishindustrialrailwaycentre.org.uk Tel 01292 739 179 and 01292 313 579

Current Prices: Adult £6; Child £4; Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) £16

The Old School (19th century)

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he Old School lies on the path leading from the car park in the centre of Gatehouse. It was established by Lady Anne Murray as a school for girls a few years after her marriage to Alexander Murray of Broughton in 1816. Girls aged between three and fourteen from Gatehouse and the surrounding neighbourhood attended the school, where the children were also provided with shoes and other items. Over time, the old school fell into disuse and was in danger of being demolished, until, in 2010, the Fleet Valley volunteers cleared the building and funds were raised to restore it.

Cally Boundaries

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here are a number of interesting boundary walls in Cally Woods, including an ancient dry stone wall and the walls of a deer park. Of particular interest are the sunken walls known as Ha-has. These are retaining walls which controlled livestock but did not interrupt the landowner’s view of his estate. A unique feature of Cally is its sunken dyke, which was built in the early 19th century. A large ditch was dug out and a 1.6 metre high wall built in the middle of the ditch. The sunken dyke was then topped with turf at the same level as the surrounding land, providing an uninterrupted view.

Syllodioch (19th century)

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n 1821 map of Kirkcudbrightshire shows a substantial house at Syllodioch, deep in the Cally Woods, but by 1852 just two small ruins remained. The Fleet Valley volunteers carried out an examination of the site in 2015 and in 2016 Forest Enterprise Scotland appointed a local historian and archaeologist to work with volunteers to carry out a more extensive examination. The team located the floor plan of a substantial house, appropriate for the family of a man who looked after the large Cally estate. The site, which has now been covered over, can be reached by walking through the Deer Park wood towards Syllodioch.

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

The Galloway Ranger

13


Underwater wonderland The burns, rivers and lochs of Galloway contain an amazing variety of fish species, including some of the rarest and most interesting fish found anywhere in the UK.

Keith Kirk

Trout Trout can be found throughout Galloway’s waters, both the resident form (brown) and migratory form (sea). They are actually one species and the decision of whether a trout remains or leaves freshwater is determined by a combination of factors such as food availability, genetics and habitat. Recent advancements in genetic analysis has started to unravel how different trout populations have adapted to their local environments. Sparling The lower Cree supports the last known sparling population on the west coast of Scotland. These fascinating fish will grow to 30 cm long and smell strongly of cucumber. Living most of their lives in the sea they only enter freshwater during the large spring tides when they congregate in large shoals to spawn in the lower river in their thousands once it is dark. Afterwards large numbers of sticky small eggs can be seen all over the bed of the river.

Salmon Adult salmon return to their rivers after spending a year or more at sea. These amazing fish strive to access gravel beds up the river systems where the water is well oxygenated and silt free. Eggs are deposited in ‘redds’ in the gravel in late autumn where they remain protected and hidden before emerging out of the gravel in late spring. At around two years of age the young salmon transform from being dark and camouflaged to become bright silver coloured ‘smolts’ with a slender body shape. At this point, usually in April or May, the smolts migrate down the rivers in large shoals and head for the open sea and oceans where an abundance of food means they can grow rapidly.

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The Galloway Ranger

Trout / Sparling / Lamprey

Lamprey Sometimes referred to as living fossils as lampreys have existed for over 300 million years, they have eel like bodies with no scales or even jaws. They have simple gill holes on the side of their head and a circular sucker for a mouth. The juveniles inhabit sediments in the river bed where they live for years blind and filter feeding. They go through a metamorphosis to become adults which includes the development of eyes. All three species of lamprey are found in Galloway; the small Brook lamprey, River lamprey and the Sea lamprey which can grow up to 50cm long. The Water of Fleet supports a particularly healthy lamprey population. Others The Cree is also home to extremely rare Allis and Twaite shad, which can be found further downstream within the Cree and Bladnoch estuaries. Many other fish species, native and introduced, are found in Galloway. Beneath the waters of the Galloway Forest Park are European eel, perch, roach, rudd, tench, rainbow trout, bream, pike, minnows and three spined stickleback. © GFT

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any of these fish species are adapted to live in both freshwater and marine habitats at different stages of their life cycle. For example, fish will spawn in relatively safe clean freshwaters where predation is low and suitable for young fish, but as they grow older they will move to the sea where abundant food supplies are found. The most well-known of these species is Atlantic salmon which spawn in all of the rivers in Galloway.

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark


Protecting Galloway’s native fish

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he Galloway Fisheries Trust is an independent conservation charity working across Galloway to protect and enhance the freshwater environments and their native fish populations. Originally set up in 1988 by four local District Salmon Fishery Boards to investigate and address falling fish stocks, much of the work of the Trust now focusses on working in partnership with Forest Enterprise and others to address the problems facing fish populations locally including acidification. While modern day foresters are enlightened about the protection of the environment, when conifer planting started in earnest in Galloway around 50 years ago, very little attention was given to environmental protection. A mix of poorly buffered geologies, acid rain and dense conifer plantations resulted in much of the Galloway uplands becoming acidified which sadly killed off many fish populations. Now, as these conifer plantations are felled, forestry restructuring provides an opportunity to improve drainage, change tree species and indeed to avoid planting at all in the most sensitive areas. This process, often guided by Galloway Fisheries Trust, has improved many water courses across Galloway by creating wider unplanted buffer zones, providing dappled shade from planted deciduous trees and through reduced pollution levels. Volunteers work with the Trust to carry out native tree planting, cleaning of spawning gravels and the removal of naturally seeded conifers from banksides. Some trials have also taken place to explore liming to address acidification in the Galloway Forest Park. In the last few years some exciting studies have taken place to explore the important role that targeted peatland restoration projects can have on improving surrounding water quality. Peatland restoration provides carbon storage benefits as well as helping to address acidification problems and within the Galloway Forest Park peatland restoration work has taken place, with more planned, which will result in improved water quality and fish populations.

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

Fishing Permits may be obtained from any of the following outlets:

1. Ayr Road Garage, 7 Ayr Rd, Dalmellington Tel: 01292 550487 2. Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre Tel: 01644 420221

3. Galloway Angling Centre, 1 Queen St, Newton Stewart Tel: 01671 401333

4. Galloway Forest Park Office, Creebridge, Newton Stewart Tel: 0300 0676800

5. Gamesport of Ayr, 60 Sandgate, Ayr KA7 1BX Tel: 01292 263822 6. Garlieston Lodge Campsite, Garlieston, DG8 8BT Tel: 01988 600641 7. Glenafton Stores, Mossdale, Castle Douglas, DG7 2NF Tel: 01644 450281 8. Glentrool Visitor Centre Tel: 01671 840302

9. Kirroughtree Visitor Centre Tel 01671 402165

10. McCowan & Son, 50-52 King Street, Castle Douglas Tel: 01556 502009 11. Neil Skelton, Nr Larg Tel: 07787 883785

LOCHS

LOCH BRADAN LOCH DEE BLACK LOCH (Fly preferred) LOCH OF THE LOWES (Fly preferred) SPECTACLE GARWACHIE

3 3

RIVERS

PALNURE BURN (West bank only above Craignine fields) WATER OF MINNOCH (Permits are £15 for Beat 4 between Kirriereoch Bridge and Glencaird Estate, and £20 for Beat 1 from the junction with the Cree up to Roman Bridge. Permits only from outlet 11.)

3 3 3 3

3 3 3

3

• Weekly permits to fish all lochs except

Loch Dee & Loch Bradan: £35 • Annual permit to fish all waters except Loch Dee & Loch Bradan: For coarse fishing – £50, for trout and coarse fishing – £75 • Conditions for fishing are printed on permits and can be supplied on request • The use of live bait, prawns or shrimps is not permitted OPEN SEASON

3 3

3 3

3 3

3

3

3

3

3

£8 £20 £8 £8 £6 £6

£4 £20 £4 £4 £3 £3

£8

£4

£15/ £20

• To conserve salmon and sea trout we operate a catch and release policy

• Annual permits are only available from

Galloway Forest Park Office, Creebridge, Newton Stewart. Please provide a passport sized colour photo and two separate forms of identity – e.g. driving licence/passport plus a recent utility bill with your address on

• Trout and salmon: 15th March to 30th

• The use of barbless hooks for all coarse fish

• • •

September. Season ends early to conserve spawning fish Pike, Perch, Tench, Rudd: Open all year Stroan Loch: Easter to 28th October Loch Bradan is stocked with Brown Trout. The other trout lochs are wild Brown Trout Fishing is only allowed between 8am and 1 hour before sunset, except on Palnure Burn where fishing may continue after dusk

• • •

is encouraged Please remove all litter including line and bait For Brown Trout a minimum landing size of 9 inches (23cm) is encouraged A bag limit of 1 fish is encouraged If you see pollution please contact SEPA Pollution Report Line: 0800 80 70 60

No natural minnow fishing on any Forestry waters. More details, fishing availability, and online booking can be found on the Fish Galloway website at www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Galloway

12. Pets Aquarium, 124 Main Street, Prestwick KA9 1PB Tel: 01292 477863 13. Robert Ryman, Glenrazie Lodge Tel: 01671 403560

14. Straiton Stores, Straiton Tel: 01655 770208

The Galloway Ranger

15


Horse riding in the Galloway Forest Park

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orse riding is welcomed in the Galloway Forest Park and is covered by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. With access rights come responsibilities – please take the following precautions: 1. Avoid damaging the ground by riding on firm or hard surfaces. If you are riding off-path take care to avoid going onto wet, boggy

or soft ground, and avoid churning up the surface. 2. Take extra care of other forest users on narrow routes, for example give way to walkers where possible or use an alternative route. 3. Do not go into fields where there are grazing horses or animals that might be a danger, and take care not to alarm farm animals and wildlife.

A naturally inspiring place to visit

We have a fantastic display of gems, crystals, minerals and fossils - a collection of unique and breathtaking creations from all over the world. Enter the Professor’s study and cafe to relax or research, savour our homebaking in the tearoom before watching the audio visual presentation “The Fire in the Stones”. Then experience the amazing Crystal Cave. Finally, to complete your day, visit our unique gift shop.

UNT 10% DISCSOIO NS

ON ADMIS FOR 2017 DVERT! BRING THIS A

an experience you’ll treasure forever!

AFTER A DAY IN THE FOREST VISIT OUR FANTASTIC TEAROOM. SAVOUR THE FLAVOURS OF OUR RENOWNED BAKING, QUALITY TEAS AND COFFEES.

Visit Logan Botanic Garden Scotland’s most exotic Garden New Logan Conservatory | Potting Shed Bistro Gift Shop | Plant Sales | Guided Walks and Events | 15 March to 31 October | Sundays in February Admission: Adult £6.50 | Concession £5.50 | Children under 16 go free Includes small voluntary donation to the Garden. For entry prices without donation please see website.

GEM & CRYSTAL DISPLAYS • GEM CUTTING WORKSHOP • PROFESSOR’S STUDY THE AMAZING CRYSTAL CAVE • AUDIO VISUALS • GIFT SHOP The Gem Rock Museum, Chain Road, Creetown, Dumfries and Galloway, DG8 7HJ, Scotland Tel: 01671 820 357 Open: Apr to Sep every day 9.30am – 5.30pm, Oct every day 10am – 4pm, Nov to Mar 5 days Wed to Sun 10am – 4pm

For more information visit www.gemrock.net

thebreakpad @ 7STANES Kirroughtree

Port Logan, Stranraer, DG9 9ND Tel 01776 860231 | www.rbge.org.uk/logan Part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, a charity registered in Scotland (no SC007983)

Hire Price List Adult

Half Day Full Day

Standard

£20

£25

(TREK 3700 disc brake, Orange Clockwork)

Full Suspension Come and have some fun at the largest bike hire fleet in Dumfries and Galloway.

£25

£35

£25

£35

-

£50

(TREK Fuel EX)

Electric (TREK Powerfly)

Based on-site at the visitor centre at Kirroughtree 7stanes, we are a fully equipped bicycle shop, workshop and hire centre. We offer a full range of quality bikes for everyone, incl. mountain bikes, kids bikes, full suspension bikes and electric pedal assist bikes. We stock a wide range of clothing and bike accessories, as well as a workshop staffed by Cytech qualified mechanics. Bikes from: TREK, Marin, Santa Cruz, Orange and Haibike. All hire bikes come with a helmet, and prices start from £15 per person.

Demo

(Orange Five, Santa Cruz 5010 and Heckler)

U16s

£15

£20

(Trek 3700, TREK MT60 or FROG 55 & trailers)

Half Day: Full Day:

10.45am-1.45pm or 2-5pm 10am-5pm

Multi and extended day prices also available

Book online for reduced rates! Book online at www.thebreakpad.com or call us to reserve your bikes:

t: 01671 401303

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Palnure, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8 7BE e: info@thebreakpad.com www.thebreakpad.com

16

The Galloway Ranger

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark


Bellymack Hill Farm Kite Feeding Station

For a really close view of red kites, and to see a ‘kettle’ of kites together, pop into the feeding station at Bellymack Hill Farm, near Laurieston. At 2pm every day throughout the year raw meat is put out to attract these social scavengers and the feeding spectacle is amazing! You’ll see 50 or more kites gathering to feed each afternoon, twice as many in winter, swooping towards a raised platform right in front of you to grab their tasty morsels of meat. This is a privately-run farm with visitor centre. Admission charges apply for adults.

On the trail of Red Kites

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ed kites are thriving around Loch Ken on the Galloway Kite Trail, on the eastern edge of Galloway Forest Park. These beautiful birds of prey were once common but were persecuted to extinction across most of the UK in Victorian times. First released into Galloway by RSPB Scotland in 2001, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage and Forest Enterprise Scotland, they are now doing well. Thanks to the support of land owners, gamekeepers, tenant farmers and local communities, red kites are breeding extensively in the area, with over 120 chicks being fledged across the region last year, from over 100 adult pairs.

With the recent felling of many trees in the forest, kites are now spreading into places like Clatteringshaws and the Raiders’ Road where they scavenge or hunt over open country, and they are often seen flying overhead at the Otter Pool. To stand the best chance of spotting them, follow the Red Kite Trail; a circular 24 mile route around Loch Ken, with an additional 14 mile loop taking you into the Galloway Forest Park along the Raiders’ Road in summer. The trail offers a pleasant drive or cycle ride and a series of short walks to explore Galloway’s countryside and find out more about the kites and other wildlife.

Find out more at Clatteringshaws

This spring and summer RSPB Scotland staff will be making regular visits to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre to help you discover local wildlife and to explain how you can help to give it a home. They’ll be able to tell you all about Galloway’s red kites, and will have equipment to help you collect and see creatures up close too. For more information and for dates visit www.gallowaykitetrail.com, facebook page Galloway Kite Trail or twitter @RSPBDandG.

Spotting a Red Kite

Large bird of prey. They have long, angled red wings, tipped with black with white patches underneath. Very distinctive long, reddish-brown forked tail. Often seen in flight above open country, gliding effortlessly on the wind.

Enjoy a beautiful view with your barista coffee Galloway Lodge at Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre Open 31 Mar - end Oct, serving home baking, light lunches, snacks and warm drinks – gift shop – stargazing evenings throughout the year (call or see our Facebook page). Queens Way, New Galloway, DG8 3SQ, t: 01644 420221

Galloway Lodge Coffee & Gift Shop Open every day, serving local food & drinks, with full breakfast and lunch menu available. Gatehouse of Fleet, DG7 2HP, t: 01557 814001

www.gallowaylodge.co.uk www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

The Galloway Ranger

17


Stay safe on the hills There is a wide variety of walking and cycling available in the Galloway Hills. Here are a few safety pointers to keep in mind.

Plan Ahead – Choose a route that is appropriate for the group’s fitness level and experience. Weather – The weather in the Galloway Hills can change rapidly, always check a detailed forecast before setting out. Clothing and Footwear – Conditions at the summits can be very different from those at the base, so warm, windproof, waterproof clothing is essential. Equipment – A map and compass are essential, and it’s vital that you know how to use them. Food and Drink – Take plenty of supplies for the group, and extra emergency rations. Route Notification – Leave a note of your proposed route with your host and an estimate of the time you expect to return, and use the Galloway Mountain Rescue online route notification service. On Your Walk – If you get lost don’t panic. If conditions allow try to seek a landmark which you can identify on the map. If not, and you have shelter and warm clothing, then stay in your position until help arrives. For more information, take a look at the Galloway Mountain Rescue website, www.gallowaymrt.org.uk

Walking the bye-ways of Galloway Barrhill Pinwherry track above the Duist river valley & the old quarrymen’s track, nr Creetown

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hile one of the pleasures and challenges of walking in the Galloway Forest Park is the scarcity of well-trodden hill paths, there are many old historic routes to discover, and knowing that you are following in the footsteps of soldiers, pilgrims, royal visitors, traders, workmen, cattle drovers or even smugglers undoubtedly adds to the enjoyment of a walk. Old roads between villages, homes, places of worship or routes out of Galloway seldom survive in their entirety, as, over the years, they are often incorporated into modern roads, become overgrown and impassable or are built-over or flooded. However some map research and the evidence of a hard base under the turf or bordering dykes and hedges are clues that can reveal an almost forgotten bye-way worth exploring. Every year Newton Stewart Walking Festival takes advantage of these now quiet historic tracks, which would have seen much heavier use in the past - all it takes is a little imagination to bring to life the layers of history beneath our feet. Some are long distance routes, such as the Old Edinburgh Road, formerly frequented by royal visitors and more humble pilgrims to Whithorn, and the Old Military Road built in the late eighteenth century, linking to Ireland via Portpatrick. A section of the Old Edinburgh Road, from

Bargaly Glen to Clatteringshaws Loch features in the 2017 walking festival, and a section of the Old Military Road, from Shennanton to Half Way House near Kirkcowan, is also used. Other ancient routes are much more local, linking villages together or homes to workplaces. For instance, two historic tracks in South Ayrshire new to the walking festival link the villages of Colmonell to Barrhill, and Barrhill to Barr. Workers routes, such as the quarrymen’s path from Creetown to the Fell Quarry, and the Salt Pans route at Lochnaw estate in the Rhins will also be discovered and explored in May’s walking festival. Wherever you choose to walk in Galloway, uncovering stories of the past and of the people in whose footsteps you follow, enrich and enhance the experience.

Walkfest 2017

The 15th Newton Stewart Walking Festival runs from Friday 5th to Thursday 11th May 2017. It features around 30 walks in Galloway. Full details can be found on www.walkfestnewtonstewart.com or by calling the booking line on 01671 404500.

Relax, unwind and enjoy hearty food and delicious hot and cold drinks in the heart of the Galloway Forest Park! Kirroughtree and Glentrool Visitor Centres are the perfect starting point for many great days out exploring the Galloway Forest Park.

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Nr Newton Stewart, DG8 7BE Open daily throughout the year. T: 01671 402165 Glentrool Visitor Centre, Nr Newton Stewart, DG8 6SY Open daily April-Oct; open weekends during winter. T: 01671 840302

18

The Galloway Ranger

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark


Galloway Forest Park 2017 Events In every season the Galloway Forest Park is filled with great days out. From family fun days to wildlife encounters; seriously scary walks to starry, starry nights. We add to our programme of events and activities throughout the year, so to find the latest events and activities take a look at our website: www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark Here is just a taster of some great days out in the Galloway Forest Park!

Spring

Easter at Kirroughtree

Our Easter Bunny has been busy making some changes to our annual Easter family fun day! Full details are being kept under wraps but we can guarantee springtime fun, family adventures and lots and lots of chocolate! Check our website and look out for posters with full details.

#GreatDaysOut

Autumn

New for 2017!

New Kids on the Block New arrivals start making an appearance in our Wild Goat Park from March. Take your kids along to see the new arrivals! You can stop and watch the goats with their baby kids from the car park and other roadside pull-ins.

Halloween at Kirroughtree

Summer

#GreatDaysOut

Fabulous Forest Drives During the summer the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive is one of the most popular spots in the Galloway Forest Park. Stop at the Otter Pool or at Stroan Loch, and keep an eye to the skies for red kites and buzzards. This route is also great by bike or on horseback.

Kirroughtree is becoming famous for its Halloween events! From the terrifying Friday Fright Night which is strictly for 14 years and over, to more family friendly spooky walks, Kirroughtree Visitor Centre is the place to go for pumpkins, fancy dress, scares and heartstopping Halloween fun. These events can book up early. Check website for full details.

#GreatDaysOut

Meet the Deer At various dates throughout the year you can meet and hand feed the deer in the Red Deer Range. The Roaring Stags and Rutting Week take place in October and is a must visit to see these mighty animals in all their autumn glory. Dates of events to be confirmed. Check website for details.

Winter

Christmas at Kirroughtree

Each winter Kirroughtree transforms into a magical winter wonderland. You can visit Santa in his grotto, take part in crafts and follow a woodland treasure trail. This sparkling winter event is full of festive atmosphere to gently ease you into the Christmas spirit. Check website for details.

#GreatDaysOut

Dark Sky Events Stargazing, night time photography classes and dark sky tours are just some of the events our Dark Sky Rangers host throughout the winter months. Usually taking place at either Clatteringshaws or Kirroughtree Visitor Centres, light up your winter with inspirational evenings out exploring the universe. Check the Facebook page Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park for latest news and details.

ages • Parts • Accessories • Clothing • Bicycles for all

Our fully stocked workshop and excellent mechanic will help keep you rolling and we’re happy to offer route planning and advice.

t: 01671 401529

We are here

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www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

B7079

Galloway Arms

Rive

Open Mon-Sat 9am to 5pm all year

£6 £12 £18 £25 £54

£4 Tag-a-long/seat £7 ’s Under 16 0 £1 Adults 5 £1 Electric 0 £3 Family s) ult ad x 2 s, (2 x kid

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The Old Red Cross Hall, Victoria Lane, Newton Stewart DG8 6DA kirkcowancyclerepairs@gmail.com www.kirkcowancycles.co.uk

Full day

Half day

Rates

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The service you’ll receive in our family run bike shop is second to none, we stock an extensive range of

s bikes Our extensive hire fleet ha ng. cli for all ages and styles of cy and id br hy n, tai un mo Kids bikes, electric bikes.

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Brand new town centre location!

Bike Hire

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Newton Stewart Dashwood Square

The Galloway Ranger

free parking

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Alb ert St

Kirkcowan Cycles

Superstore

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To A75

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Colouring competition

Did you know! Loch Doon Castle was originally situated on an island in the middle of the Loch.

Our chosen winner last year was: Benjamin, age 8 from Abingdon

Runner up: Abby, age 3 from Castle Douglas

HC: Caitlin, age 6 from Edinburgh

If you are aged 10 or under then enter our colouring competition for your chance to win a £10 book token. Drop your entry off at any of the visitor centres in the Galloway Forest Park. Closing date: 30th Nov 2017. Name: Age: Address:

Postcode:

A Year of Great Days Out

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or only £3 per month you can enjoy unlimited parking in the Galloway Forest Park when you buy our annual parking permit. Valid for 12 months from the date of purchase your annual parking permit gives you a perfect excuse to enjoy the great outdoors all year round. Parking permits cost £36 and can be purchased from any Visitor Centre in the Galloway Forest Park. Best of all any parking fees you’ve already paid on the day of purchase will be deducted from the cost of your permit! It’s great outdoors, so give yourself and your family the gift of unlimited dog walks, unlimited family days out, unlimited exploring and unlimited enjoyment in the Galloway Forest Park this year.

HC: Nellie, age 10 from St. Albans

HC: Martha, age 9 from Loughborough *HC: Highly commended

20

The Galloway Ranger

www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

Galloway Ranger 2017  

The Galloway Ranger covers the wealth of things to see and do in and around the Galloway Forest Park as well as introducing readers to the h...

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