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What’s Inside?

Hidden wildlife habits revealed! Restoring ancient woodland Events in the forest Meet the deer & more ...

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


Welcome

Contents 2

Welcome About Galloway Ranger 3 A Warmer Welcome 4 Our Partners 5 Our website gets a fresh look too! 6 Galloway Forest Park events 7 More Dark Skies Discovered 8 Wildlife hidden habits revealed! 9 Fishing & horse riding 10/11 Forest Park map 12 Protecting Black Grouse in Galloway Forest Park 13 Ancient Woodland Restoration 14 Flying High Remarkable Red Deer Meet the Stags 15 Go Wild! New guide from the Walkfest team 16 Growing a healthier Galloway Forest Park Staying safe in the Forest 17 The Life of a Tree 18 A few of our favourite things Stay safe on the hills 19 Festivals & events 20 Forest fun Front Cover Image: by Mick Durham. Additional photography: Andrew Jarrott, Lucy Hadley, Mike Kneeshaw, Bill Mitchell, FCS Photo Library Design & production by: Ian Findlay Design Editorial by: Indigo Words

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elcome to the 2014 Galloway Ranger, your guide to the great outdoors of the Galloway Forest Park. We start 2014 with the opening of our fantastic new visitor centre at Kirroughtree, to complement the extra facilities added at Clatteringshaws and Glentrool last year as part of a major programme of investment by Forestry Commission Scotland. We now have three world class visitor centres providing exceptional facilities to help our visitors have a more comfortable and enjoyable visit to the UK’s largest forest park. To help us make the most of these new facilities, and to provide you with the warmest of welcomes and tasty refreshments, we are delighted to introduce our visitor centre partners; Cream o’ Galloway and Galloway Lodge Preserves. These two well respected local businesses are experts in providing exceptional quality local food and drink, and they are both well known for delivering consistently high quality service to their visitors. We also welcome the knowledge and expertise of The Breakpad at Kirroughtree who take over responsibility for our new one-stop outdoor shop. There is no one better than Sam Hill to advise and support mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts

‘It’s great outdoors’

from across the UK who visit the world class trails at Kirroughtree and Glentrool. This year’s Galloway Ranger takes a close look at the riches of the great outdoors, and the breadth of conservation and forest management work that goes on in the Galloway Forest Park. You’ll find information on how we’re encouraging native species to flourish, how managing habitats is helping black grouse numbers to soar and how the hidden side of the Galloway Forest Park is being revealed through technology. We take a look at how ancient woodlands are being restored, explore why wildlife is becoming one of Dumfries & Galloway’s biggest tourism draws and we look at what local groups and organisations are doing to help you get the most from your outdoor adventures. We’ll also take a look ahead at events and activities within the Galloway Forest Park, as well as major events and festivals across the region and, hopefully, we’ll inspire you by sharing a few of our favourite things to see and do in the Galloway Forest Park. The Galloway Forest Park is here to be explored and for those who enjoy Scotland’s majestic outdoors a whole world of adventure awaits.

About The Galloway Ranger

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he Galloway Ranger is the annual newspaper of the Galloway Forest Park, the largest Forest Park in Britain and Galloway’s most visited attraction. There’s 300 square miles of mixed woodland to explore, beautiful landscapes, 3 visitor centres, 27 waymarked walking trails, fishing-friendly lochs and rivers, fascinating

wildlife, historical sites, horse riding trails, art installations, two of the 7stanes mountain biking centres and the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. We hope the articles in this newspaper will inspire and encourage you to try, see or do something new during 2014, Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

Useful contact details Galloway Forest Park Visitor Centres Kirroughtree – 01671 402165 Clatteringshaws – 01644 420285 Glentrool – 01671 840302 Forestry Commission Scotland Galloway Forest Park Office, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire DG8 6AJ Tel: 01671 402420 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) Newton Stewart – 01671 402431 (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

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


A Warmer Welcome S

ix years of planning, discussions, consultations and reports, a £4.5 million redevelopment programme and the result? Three visitor centres with improved facilities, greater comfort, fantastic toilets, tastier menus and a warmer welcome. Regular visitors to the Galloway Forest Park need no reminder that things have been changing over the past year. Bike trails, walking routes and the visitor centres have all seen repairs and redevelopment as part of this major project. Driven by the passion of those involved and a firm belief that the Galloway Forest Park should have the visitor facilities that befits its status as the UK’s largest forest park, the Galloway Ranger looks at the story behind these changes and explores why this project is such a milestone for the area.

The Background

In 2004 when the 7stanes at Kirroughtree was opened we saw the first big change in the Galloway Forest Park when lots of young (and not so young) bikers came to tackle the now world renowned red and black trails of Kirroughtree. The fast flowing trails became a real hit with avid bikers which saw Kirroughtree becoming one of the must ride destinations in the UK. However, no showers, a limited choice of food in the café and limited opening hours meant that the bikers simply didn’t visit as often as they could have. In 2006 a tourism strategy was written for the park which highlighted that the Galloway Forest Park was one of Scotland’s hidden gems. Within the pages of this document was an ambitious target

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to double the numbers of people coming to the forest park by 2015, but to do that required investment – significant investment. Our existing centres were superbly run by very passionate and fun loving staff but the buildings were not ideal. Old farm buildings redeveloped year after year with old infrastructure meant that behind the scenes our staff were struggling to provide the service they knew our visitors deserved. Our visitors too were telling us that they loved the setting but they also wanted us to provide better facilities. Our toilets were poor, our buildings cramped, we couldn’t sell cooked meals, our hours of work were restricted and our ability to fully stretch our business wings was severely curtailed purely because we were Forestry Commission Scotland. The demand was clear and a major change was required. A master plan was developed, work began to consult with key stakeholders and the argument was put to senior forestry officials that Galloway required a major injection of capital funding. The changes that have been taking place in Galloway Forest Park are the result of a small team working extremely hard to deliver a project with big ambitions.

The Changes

We wanted to create a network of centres that would allow movement of visitors around the forest park and the wider area, and provide comfort, facilities and a warm welcome. The key entry point would be focussed on Kirroughtree, and it is Kirroughtree that would see the biggest changes. A new access road, a new car park and a new visitor centre with a commercial kitchen and a log burning stove; new toilets, new showers and a new shop would all provide important visitor facilities. A wildlife viewing area would also be installed, fully accessible and located just off the main access road, where birds, red squirrel and roe deer can all be seen. The path to it follows the Bruntis burn and continues on around the small pond before returning past the hide. Clatteringshaws was also seen to have a huge potential due to its location on a main tourist link, and we wanted to encourage coach parties, as well as regular visitors, to stop and dwell in this spectacular setting by installing a beautiful picture window to make the most of the views across Clatteringshaws Loch to the Merrick. ®

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Originally Glentrool was to receive a major facelift and extension too, but budget constraints and a desire to keep the sense of place and scale took precedence, and the changes here were improved toilet provision, updated visitor interpretation and new picnic benches. There was another agenda however for the tourism team. It is all very well having excellent facilities to have a cup of tea or meal but if the surrounding forest and the trails within are not of the same standard then the project would not work. With this in mind the entire ethos on how walking trails were built in Galloway was revisited and a new format set out. In 2010/11 a number of key walking trails were realigned and resurfaced, and these are only now just bedding in.

Our Partners

A very important consideration in this project was making sure that each of the three visitor centres is accessible for everyone, and Kirroughtree has an added level of equipment to support severely disabled visitors and their carers. Maintaining the darkness of our famous dark skies was also essential, and so blinds, good lighting and common sense have been used to ensure that the night sky is protected and the wonders of the universe can be seen with ease.

The Result

The end result is that over the past 3 years, and continuing into the foreseeable future, a programme of work now exists to make sure that the Galloway Forest Park is an enjoyable, rewarding

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orestry Commission Scotland are being supported in the development of our tourism facilities by three well established local business, each of them experts in their field.

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, managed by Cream o’ Galloway Cream o’ Galloway’s own meat, cheese and, of course, their luxury ice cream are highlights of the new Kirroughtree menu, alongside a range of local and ethical produce. The team bring with them an enthusiasm for events and have put in place an exciting programme of activities for visitors of all ages. Wilma Finlay, Managing Director of Cream o’ Galloway said: “We share Forestry Commission Scotland’s vision that Kirroughtree should be a showpiece of sustainability and so we are featuring the excellent food and crafts produced within Dumfries & Galloway within our menu and in the shop. We are delighted with the feedback from visitors so far and we are looking forward to welcoming many more over the coming year.”

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Glentrool and Clatteringshaws Visitor Centres, managed by Galloway Lodge Preserves Famous for their jams, chutneys and pickles, Galloway Lodge Preserves is well practised at delighting visitors and their popular coffee shop in Gatehouse of Fleet provides a tasty range of food, drink and gifts. Ruaridh Hesketh of Galloway Lodge Preserves said: “We’re looking forward to reopening both centres in the spring when we’ll be inviting visitors to enjoy some excellent coffee and classic Scottish food. We are also planning a number of events at Glentrool and Clatteringshaws on themes such as dark skies, natural, food, and active events that will hopefully be of interest to a wide range of visitors and locals within the Galloway Forest Park.”

and comfortable place to visit. This year, 2014, is a year of settling down, establishing the site and seeing how you the visitor use our new facilities. There will undoubtedly be issues raised and snagging problems arising, so please be patient with us as our visitor centres take time to bed in and our forestry teams respond to the challenges of maintaining the health of the forest. We very much welcome your feedback and your support during this time. We invite you to spread the word about Galloway Forest Park. Invite your friends and family to come and experience the great outdoors in Scotland’s beautiful south west.

The Breakpad at Kirroughtree, managed by Sam Hill Already in place for 5 years at Kirroughtree, Sam wanted to take her business to the next level, so a huge new shop alongside a new section of bike trail and an amazing new ride over the bridge gives her the perfect opportunity to do just that. Providing bike sales and hire, spares and repairs and lots of accessories and equipment for bikers and the general walker means that this is a one stop shop for the great outdoors. Sam said: “People visit here because it is such a special place and having a purpose built facility that celebrates its surroundings, designed with a space that works for our staff and our customers has been fantastic. We are looking forward to the new facilities encouraging more people to stay and explore for longer, making the most of our great outdoors.”

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


Our website gets a fresh look too!

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t’s not just the visitor centres that are benefiting from investment and change, at the time of writing, big changes are afoot on our new website too. Due to launch in early 2014, we’ve been working hard to create a new user-friendly site that’s bursting with information about great places to visit, new forests to discover and practical advice to guide you along the way. We want our new site to help you make the very most of the Galloway Forest Park. So whether you want to find the best place to see red squirrels, somewhere adrenaline pumping to ride your bike, or an ideal spot for a family picnic; our new website will have the information you need to plan all your woodland adventures. Visit the new Galloway Forest Park website for yourself at www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

thebreakpad for everything biking thebreakpad bike shop at Kirroughtree has the largest bike hire fleet in Dumfries and Galloway. We cater for all riders, from 20” wheel children’s bikes, to full suspension mountain bikes. We stock a wide range of clothing and bike accessories, as well as a workshop staffed

t: 01671 401303

by Cyctec accredited mechanics. Demo bikes from: Santa Cruz/Orange/TREK/YETI. Family of 4 bike hire special - £50 for 3 hrs. All hire bikes come with a helmet. We also offer coaching, from beginner to expert, prices start from £50 for 2hrs 1-2-1 tuition.

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

y l s u o i c i l De good fun!

We’re branching out! Cream o’ Galloway now runs the café at the new Kirroughtree Forest Visitor Centre. Explore this beautiful forest then head to the Visitor Centre and treat yourself to a delicious menu of tasty local foods, home baking and, of course, Cream o’ Galloway ice cream.

fun with our Enjoy a whole day of or and unique multi-level indo Try our outdoor play areas! rts, a terrifying challenging pedal ka nature trails, tube slide, flying fox, . Then indulge events and activities m, there are in a delicious ice crea choose from! around 30 flavours to

t: 01671 402 165 e: kvc@creamogalloway.co.uk A NEWTON STEWART CASTLE DOUGLAS CREETOWN

Kirroughtree Café

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Open from 10am, Feb – end Oct Rainton, Gatehouse of Fleet DG7 2DR tel: 01557 815 222 e: info@creamogalloway.co.uk www.creamogalloway.co.uk

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Halloween Special at Kirroughtree

24th October 7pm-9pm, £10 per ticket inclusive of parking This event is not suitable for young children, strictly 14 years and above. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. Booking essential. Do you dare to join us?

Halloween at Kirroughtree

Galloway Forest Park events T

here’s a lot going on in the Galloway Forest Park this year! Here are a few of the highlights.

Moongazing at Kirroughtree

18th February, 5pm, Adults £7.50, Children £5 Meet at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre for hot soup, cake and a tea or coffee. There will be a talk from 6pm inside the visitor centre and then if the sky is clear we’ll head outside. Booking required, call 01671 402165.

Family Stargazing at Kirroughtree

22nd February, 7th & 28th March, 6pm, Adults £7.50, Children £5 Booking required. Tailored to those with children aged from 7 to 15, we’ll start with soup, cake and a drink, have fun with some space-craft activities and head out to look at the night sky once it’s dark.

Stargazing for Beginners at Kirroughtree

8th & 27th March, 11th Oct, 8th Nov, 6th Dec, 6.30pm Full details to be confirmed. Call 01671 402165 for details.

Forest Park Festival

11th – 14th April, Various Locations Join us for a brand new event involving each of our three Visitor Centres. This fun packed weekend takes place the weekend before Easter, and it’s a celebration of all that’s been achieved in the Galloway Forest Park over the past couple of years. There will be heaps to keep you entertained all weekend – visit our website for more information.

Easter at Kirroughtree

20th April 12noon-4pm, charges apply Join us for lots of family Easter fun at Kirroughtree.

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Family Bat Night at Kirroughtree

Thursday 29th May, 8.30-10.30pm, £4 Booking required. Fun activities to find out more about bats followed by some bat spotting once it gets dark. Bring a torch and some warm clothes.

Break Out of Kirroughtree

PMBA Enduro Series, 15th June, charges apply Organised in partnership with The Breakpad, Enduro is a regional series with an emphasis on entertaining tracks that experienced riders will relish, but accessible enough to be enjoyed by first time racers (but skilled bikers). This 1 day 3 stage event includes a practice in the morning and then the race lap in the afternoon, 8-10miles per lap.

Fishing at Loch Grannoch

6th July, 10th August, 7th & 21st September, £10 Join our Rangers for these popular fishing events at Loch Grannoch. Booking required, call 01671 402 420.

Meet the Deer at Red Deer Range

July-August: 10am Sunday-Thursday April-June & September: 10am Wednesday & Thursday, Adults £5, Children £3, Family ticket £12 (2 adults and 2 children) Join our Rangers on a guided tour to discover the fascinating world of Scotland's largest land mammal.

Roaring Stags at Red Deer Range

5th October, 10am, Adults £5, Children £3, Family ticket £12 (2 adults and 2 children) Who will be crowned Monarch of the Deer Range this year? Watch the drama unfold during this exciting time in the Red Deer’s calendar. Roaring Stags marks the start of Rutting Week, where you are welcome to drop in to the Deer Park Range hide to meet our Rangers.

25th October 6pm-8pm, charges apply Suitable for 6 years and above. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Join us for family fun this Halloween, with pumpkin lantern carving and ghostly walks; dressing up and prizes up for grabs!

Christmas at Kirroughtree

6th, 7th, 14th & 21st December, charges apply Kirroughtree is a fabulous destination to kick-start your festive celebrations. Visit Santa in his winter grotto at Kirroughtree, enjoy a woodland stroll, warm up by the log burning fire with a hearty meal and soak up the festive atmosphere. You can even buy a real Christmas tree to take home!

Food for Thought at Kirroughtree

Monthly, check website for event dates, £13.50 Suitable for adults. Meet for coffee and scones, followed by a fascinating talk, walk or demonstration, finishing with a delicious two course lunch. Topics planned for 2014 include real bread making, photography, red squirrels, healthy soils, fungi, dark skies and much, much more. Check website for full details.

Cooking for Kids at Kirroughtree

Last Wednesday of each month from 26th March, 10.30–11.15am, £2 Suitable for pre-schoolers and their grown ups. Booking required. Messy and edible fun!

Wellies and Worms at Kirroughtree

First Wednesday of each month, Apr-Oct, 10.30-11.15am, £2 Suitable for pre-schoolers and their grown ups. Booking required. Fun, nature based outdoor activities for pre-school children.

Storytime at Kirroughtree

Every other Friday, 10.30-11.15am, free Stories, singing, rhymes and fun! This session is ideal for pre-school children and their grown ups. Enjoy the company and share the fun.

Forest Fun at Kirroughtree

First and last Saturdays of each month, 10.30am12.30pm, £5 Suitable for ages 5-11 with an accompanying adult. Booking required. Meet for tea and toast in the café then burn off some energy with a variety of outdoor activities in the forest including biking, orienteering, den building and photography. For up to date information on events and activities in the Galloway Forest Park visit www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


More Dark Skies Discovered T he Galloway Forest Park is at the heart of a new wave of Dark Sky activity, encouraging other places and communities to recognise the value of protecting the darkness of their own night skies. Since the Galloway Forest Park became the UK’s first Dark Sky Park in 2009, five other areas have followed suit, also being recognised by the International Dark Sky Association’s Dark Sky Places scheme. Northumbria National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park became Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park in December last year, while the Isle of Coll, part of the Inner Hebrides, has become a Dark Sky Community and Exmoor National Park, Brecon Beacons National Park and the Isle of Sark have all been recognised as Dark Sky Places.

Many other parts of the UK are getting involved too. Dark Sky Discovery Sites are much smaller locations that have been nominated by a local organisation as ‘the best local place to see the stars’. They will be situated away from the worst of the local light pollution, have good sightlines and good public access. There are now more than 100 Dark Sky Discovery Sites in urban and rural areas around the UK and, potentially, every community in the country could have its own local site. If you live in Galloway, you already have some of the best dark skies in the country, but if you’re visiting from another part of the UK why not track down your own local dark skies, or nominate your favourite local stargazing spot at www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk

Come & Explore Scotland’s Most Exotic Garden

A great day in the outdoors for all the family and discover botanical treasures rarely seen in the UK Regular Events | Guided Walks | Audio Tours | Discovery Centre | Potting Shed Bistro | Shop | Plant Sales Adult £6, concession £5 (includes small voluntary donation to the Garden) Children under 16 free (for non-donation prices please check our website)

James Hilder

Open 10am daily 15 March – 31 October Port Logan, Stranraer, DG9 9ND Tel 01776 860231 | www.rbge.org.uk/logan

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.

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AFTER A DAY IN THE FOREST VISIT OUR FANTASTIC TEAROOM. SAVOUR THE FLAVOURS OF OUR RENOWNED BAKING, QUALITY TEAS AND COFFEES. 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 Opening Times: Summer every day 9.30am - 5.30pm. Winter every day 10am - 4pm.

For more information visit www.gemrock.net

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Wildlife hidden habits revealed! T he spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife of the Galloway Forest Park make this a popular location for wildlife photographers from across the UK, but recently we’ve been taking photos of our own for a very specific purpose. Stealth cameras – small, discreet cameras that are triggered by movement – give us a glimpse into wildlife behaviour and habits that would otherwise be very difficult to capture. We started using stealth cameras in the Galloway Forest Park a few years ago as part of the red squirrel conservation strategy. As part of this strategy it was essential to monitor the presence of red squirrels, and more importantly potential incursion of grey squirrels. Stealth photography in key locations helps our Environment Team to monitor squirrel numbers, and the results have been vital in helping the team to target conservation efforts which have so far prevented the greys from becoming established in

Kirkcowan Cycles

the Galloway Forest Park. This important work is still ongoing and if you spot any grey squirrels in the Galloway Forest Park or the surrounding area, please do report them to us to help with this project. The use of stealth cameras also, on occasion, shows us something completely unexpected. Indeed a benefit of the squirrel monitoring programme was finding out that the elusive pine marten was covering a far wider range and at higher densities within Galloway Forest Park than we had previously thought. This information helped plan a programme of pine marten breeding boxes which have been placed though the district to help this rare protected species flourish. We also use stealth cameras to confirm if sites are in use, both in the artificial boxes placed throughout the forest for pine marten, owls and kestrels and in natural sites, like badger setts or otter holts. While they might sound like something from a

spy movie, the use of stealth cameras is very wildlife friendly, and is far less invasive than a large hairy ranger poking his head into the boxes to see if any animals are in residence! It also means we can monitor over long periods of time, leaving cameras set to monitor sites 24/7 for weeks or even months. The data from these stealth camera traps can be analysed a variety of ways to help inform scientific research. For example, by identifying individual animals we can establish population densities and understand behavioural patterns, which helps us to improve habitat management. The use of camera traps in Galloway Forest District has become an extremely valuable tool in the planning and timing of operations and in informing habitat management to benefit local wildlife, and we will continue in this way to monitor the fascinating lives of the creatures who live in the forest for the foreseeable future.

Drumroamin Farm

Association of Dumfries & Galloway Accommodation Providers

Camping & Caravan Site

For all your cycling needs;

• Bike sales • Repairs • Servicing • Parts • Accessories • Mountain, Hybrid & Electric bike hire • Route planning & advice

01671 830286 www.kirkcowancycles.co.uk Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm year round

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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.

Where to stay! What to do! Where to go!

1 South Balfern, Kirkinner, Newton Stewart Tel: 01988 840613 or 0775 247 1456

Go first to

www.drumroamin.co.uk

www.visitsouthwestscotland.com

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Fishing Permits may be obtained from any of the following outlets: Geoff Shaw, Kirriereoch

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Glentrool Visitor Centre (Open from 21st March)

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Robert Ryman, Glenrazie Lodge

Galloway Forest Park Office, Creebridge, Newton Stewart

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Tel 01644 420285 Tel 01671 840288

Tel 01671 840302 Tel 01671 403560 Tel 01671 402420

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre (Open throughout the year)

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D & W Countryways, 19-21 Albert St, Newton Stewart DG8 6EF

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Straiton Stores, Straiton

Ayr Road Garage, 7 Ayr Road, Dalmellington

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Tel 01671 402165 Tel 01671 403224 Tel 01655 770208 Tel 01292 550487

Gamesport of Ayr, 60 Sandgate, Ayr KA7 1BX

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McCowan & Son, 50-52 King Street, Castle Douglas

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Tel 01292 263822 Tel 01556 502009

Galloway Angling Centre, 1 Queen Street, Newton Stewart

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Pets Aquarium, 124 Main Street, Prestwick KA9 1PB (not on map)

Glenafton Stores, Mossdale, Castle Douglas, DG7 2NF

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Tel 01671 401333 Tel 01292 477863 Tel: 01644 450281

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

LOCHS

LOCH BRADAN LOCH DEE BLACK LOCH (Fly preferred) LOCH OF THE LOWES (Fly preferred) LILLIES LOCH (Fly preferred) SPECTACLE GARWACHIE LOCH ELDRIG STROAN LOCH LINFERN LOCH

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Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre (Open from 21st March)

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RIVERS

PALNURE BURN (West bank only above Craignine fields) WATER OF MINNOCH (Above Kirriereoch bridge to end June – max 6 rods per day. Permits only from outlets 2 and 5) WATER OF MINNOCH (Above Kirriereoch bridge July to October – max 6 rods per day. Permits only from outlets 2 and 5)

• Weekly permits to fish all lochs except Loch • • • • •

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£4 £20 £4 £4 £4 £3 £3 £3 £3 £3

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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 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

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£8 £20 £8 £8 £8 £6 £6 £6 £6 £6

OPEN SEASON • Trout and salmon: 15th March to 30th 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 • The use of barbless hooks for all coarse fish 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

Horse access points with space for horse boxes can be found throughout the Forest Park

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orse riding is covered by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and you are welcome to use the forest roads. With access rights come responsibilities – please consider other forest users who may be exercising their access rights including walkers and cyclists by taking the following precautions:

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

1 Avoid damaging the ground by riding on firm or hard surfaces, such as wide paths and tracks and well-drained ground. 2 Remember that horse riding on narrow routes may cause problems for other people, such as walkers and cyclists – take extra care and give way to walkers where possible or use an alternative route.

3 If you are riding off-path, particularly in winter, take care to avoid going onto wet, boggy or soft ground, and avoid churning up the surface. 4 Take care not to alarm farm animals and wildlife, particularly if you go round a field margin. Do not go into fields where there are grazing horses or animals that might be a danger.

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Galloway Forest Park

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www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

The Galloway Ranger

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CREEBRIDGE CARAVAN PARK 3 star friendly, family run park Holiday caravans & chalets for hire and for sale, all bedding provided • Tourers & tents always welcome

Minnigaff, Newton Stewart, DG8 6AJ Tel: 01671 402324 www.creebridgecaravanpark.com Email: enquiries@creebridgecaravanpark.com

One of the closest sites to the Galloway Forest Park and just minutes walk from the market town of Newton Stewart

THREE LOCHS

HOLIDAY PARK & ESTATE Everyone is welcome to try out the activities our holiday park has on offer. If you wish to holiday on our park we have luxury lodges and premier centrally heated and double glazed caravans. We also offer facilities for tourers, motor vehicles and campers.

Walking or mountain biking in the beautiful Galloway Forest, clay pigeon shooting, target range, archery, pony trekking or try our 9-hole golf course.

For fishing enthusiasts we have Lochs Ronald and Heron – well-known for their specimens of pike, bream and perch. For game fishing take a boat out on Black Loch where you can fly-fish for brown, rainbow and blue trout.

An abundance of wildlife for all enthusiasts – from birds of prey to red squirrels – watch them from our woodland squirrel hide. AND – for that stunning home in the Galloway countryside ... we have luxury lodges and premier static caravans (new and pre-owned) for sale.

n for an actiidoay! packed hol

Kirkcowan, Newton Stewart DG8 0EP

Call: 01671 830 304 Email: threelochs@holker.co.uk Web: www.3lochs.co.uk

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The Galloway Ranger

Protecting Black Grouse in Galloway Forest Park

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ith one of the fastest declining populations in the UK, falling from 25,000 displaying males in 1970 to just over 5,000 in 2005, black grouse are one of the Galloway Forest Park’s wildlife priorities. Indeed the black grouse is one of the key woodland species identified for action under the Scottish Forestry Strategy, and with important black grouse sites located in the Galloway Forest Park we are doing a lot of work to help conserve this beautiful and fascinating species. Black grouse are known for their handsome plumage and spectacular courtship displays. The males gather together in the spring of each year in groups across the Galloway Forest Park and display to the grey females. These are known as lek sites and they tend to be in the same location each year. The routine nature of their courting behaviour comes in very handy for us; making it easy to count the birds which lets us monitor the general population of black grouse in the area. Black grouse breed on open moorland but they use the edge of the forest for feeding and cover. It is this ‘edge habitat’ that is particularly well used by a wide range of species and so it is an area we will be expanding considerably within the Galloway Forest Park. Our forest plans include the development of 6,000 hectares (about the area of 276,000 tennis courts) of ‘woodland fringe’ habitat

which will be made up of native tree species, shrubs and well spaced conifers, all of which provide good food for black grouse, in a mosaic of open ground. Wherever possible we are also removing stock and deer fences to reduce the possibility of black grouse flying into them. Our management of open ground habitat is also very important to black grouse. For example, we have done a lot of work to block old drainage systems on peatland areas to re-wet the site and raise the water table. This encourages the growth of sphagnum moss and other bog species which the black grouse and their chicks feed on, and it also reduces the likelihood of damaging fire. We have also cut down on grazing in key locations to promote the growth of heather and we have carried out some swiping to make sure lek sites are kept open and provide a mix of heather age. And in one location, we are halfway through a predator control trial – controlling the numbers of crows and foxes – to see if this has an impact on the number of black grouse in the area. The result? Black grouse numbers have increased in the Galloway Forest Park in recent years, and they continue to thrive. Watching them proudly court their mates is an extremely rewarding spectacle, and one we are delighted to see increasing year upon year as a direct result of our habitat management work.

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


Ancient Woodland Restoration O ne of the most important habitats in any forest, particularly in terms of wildlife conservation, is Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW). These important areas of continuous woodland cover contain native self seeded species, that have remained standing since reliable mapping in Scotland began in around 1750. Such long standing continuous native woodland has allowed species to adapt and specialise in the local conditions and these ancient woodlands are generally regarded as having the highest value to biodiversity. Planted Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) are Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland sites that were depicted on both those early maps and on the later ordnance survey maps of 1860 as natural native woodland. However Planted Ancient Woodland Sites have had their natural development interrupted, through either felling and replanting, or having been planted through with commercial conifer species. Despite their chequered past, Planted Ancient Woodland Sites are tremendously important because they often retain the character and remnants of the original Ancient Woodland, with many of the specialised plant species remaining in the seed bank within the soil. This makes them important potential

biodiversity hot spots. The National Forest Estate in Scotland includes over 27,700 hectares of Planted Ancient Woodland Sites and Forestry Commission Scotland are committed to restoring 85% of them to more than 90% site native canopy cover. Locally in the Galloway Forest District, Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland covers more than 500 hectares, with excellent examples found within the Galloway Forest Park around Glen Trool and Knockman Wood, both of which are managed in partnership with Cree Valley Community Woodland Trust. The district also manages 410 hectares of Planted Ancient Woodland Sites in and around the wider Galloway Forest Park, and the restoration of these sites is ongoing. To carry out this restoration the sites are carefully surveyed to identify ancient woodland remnants, such as veteran oak trees. We assess these remnants for threats to their survival and we carry out preventative work to counteract any threats, to secure the survival of ancient woodland remnants. The preferred long term method of site restoration is to gradually restore the site by thinning the commercial plantation crop to open the tree canopy. This increases light levels in the site, encouraging native tree species and ground ora to

re-establish, while still retaining some shade and humidity in the woodland structure and promoting the natural regeneration of native trees. Where this is not possible, mainly due to a lack of natural seed source, we aim to restock sites with site native species using stock grown on

from seed collected in the local area. The restoration of these important sites is a long term project, but one we are strongly committed to, making sure that these Planted Ancient Woodland Sites will once again become highly diverse valuable native woodland habitats.

Come and explore the countryside and wander in the wide open spaces at Barnsoul.

unwind, explore, enjoy Static Caravans for Sale Luxury Lodges for Sale Glamping Pods for Hire Touring & Motorhome Pitches Tent Pitches

Nearly 300 acres of woodlands, paddocks and ponds attract an abundance of wildlife, including deer, fox, badgers, otters, red squirrels and a huge variety of bird life. Our comfortable facilities offer: hot water, electric hook ups, shower block with individual cubicles, communal kitchen, picnic area, laundry facilities, chemical toilet disposal, and an on-site warden.

Booking Line – 01557 814 351 Barnsoul Caravan Park Irongray, Dumfries DG2 9SQ

info@barnsoulcaravanpark.co.uk www.barnsoulcaravanpark.co.uk

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

The Galloway Ranger

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David Henderson

Remarkable Red Deer A

Flying High

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ed kites in Scotland are a true conservation success story, and they are positively thriving around Loch Ken on the Galloway Kite Trail, just to the east of the Galloway Forest Park. After more than 100 years of absence, these beautiful birds of prey were first released back into Galloway by RSPB Scotland in 2001, with support from Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland. Thanks to local communities, farmers and land owners, they are now breeding successfully in the area, with over 75 pairs nesting in 2013. They continue to grow in numbers and are spreading across the region, so keep a look out for them.

Where to see Red Kites

The Red Kite Trail is a 24 mile journey around Loch Ken and, in summer, it takes you into the Galloway Forest Park. Look up as you travel around the trail to spot this distinctive raptor. Kites are of similar size to buzzards, but with longer wings and a long forked tail. They are often spotted in flight, gliding effortlessly on the wind. For a really close view, pop into the feeding station at Bellymack Hill Farm, near Laurieston, where you can see 50 or more kites gathering to feed each afternoon. The farm is open from 12 noon each day but the best time to visit is at 2pm, when some raw meat is placed in the field, attracting these social scavengers. Admission charges apply. The RSPB are often present to keep you updated about kites and other wildlife in the area. For more information about red kites in Galloway pick up a free Red Kite Trail leaflet from various outlets or for more information visit www.gallowaykitetrail.com

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The Galloway Ranger

s Scotland’s largest land mammal the mighty red deer is an impressive sight, and the Galloway Forest Park’s Red Deer Range, half way along the Queensway (A712), is one of the south of Scotland’s must-visit wildlife attractions. Morning is arguably the best time to visit the deer range. This is when the 4 stags and 30 hinds (female deer) are often nearest the hide, but there is plenty of great viewing to be had later in the day, and it’s fascinating watching the interplay between these beautiful creatures. The calves start to arrive in May and June, when our deer numbers will swell, and throughout the summer our rangers lead guided tour events to give you the opportunity to come eye to eye with these

Meet the Stags

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magnificent animals. But it’s our autumn events that are most well known, when we host Roaring Stags events based around one of autumn’s most spectacular wildlife dramas. Over the past year we’ve been making some changes to the Red Deer Range; with a new car park open from Easter till October, and a shorter, flat walk to the hide, the opportunity to view these magnificent animals is now much more accessible to many more people. For all tour dates, times and costs visit www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark, or pick up one of our Red Deer Range event leaflets from any Galloway Forest Park visitor centre.

ed deer have very well defined personalities and our stags in particular are easy to identify by their behaviour and character.

Merrick

Merrick was born in the Deer Range in June 2010, and he’s the youngest of our stags. He is easily identified by his proud walk and body posture, and he will often be seen with his best mate Spike, sparring like a couple of teenagers. We think Merrick has great potential to become the alpha stag at the Range once he’s a little bit more mature. Watch this space!

Rhum

Rhum is the current alpha male in the Galloway Forest Park Red Deer Range. He’s 10 years old with a beautiful set of antlers and doesn’t he know it! Rhum is the oldest stag in the Range and he’s full of confidence and authority. Rhum has always been extra special to us because he was born here and has become a real credit to the Range. How can you tell him apart from the others? Well, Rhum is the one most likely to be strutting his stuff, posing in front of all the cameras!!

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


© Keith Kirk www.dumfriesandgallowaynaturalhistory.co.uk

Go Wild!

The Wild Spring and Wild Autumn festivals are quickly becoming established as a focal point for wildlife watching in Scotland, offering a range of activities, events and experiences to help people of all ages and all levels of wildlife knowledge make umfries & Galloway, and in particular the landscapes in and around the Galloway Forest the most of Scotland’s spectacular outdoors. Wild Spring is Dumfries & Galloway’s original Park, offer some fantastic opportunities to see Scotland’s wildlife up close and personal. From frogs wildlife festival. Running from 5th April to 5th May 2014, the festival will comprise around 100 wildlife and fungi to badgers and buzzards; red deer and events, many of them free of charge and most of reptiles to endangered bats and the ever so them hosted by experienced and knowledgeable charismatic red squirrel; Dumfries & Galloway is wildlife guides and experts. teeming with wildlife.

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Wild Autumn runs from 11th October to 2nd November and encourages people to enjoy experiences such as the roars and clashing of antlers of majestic red deer in their annual rut, the busy autumn activities of red squirrel and the spectacle of tens of thousands of barnacle geese wintering on the Solway coastline. The Galloway Forest Park and the work of our Rangers will feature in both these festivals and programmes and information are available from our visitor centres or at www.wildspringfestival.com

New guide from the Walkfest team

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ewton Stewart has long been known as the Gateway to the Galloway Hills, and the team behind the award winning Newton Stewart Walking Festival are encouraging you to make the most of the wonderful local walking experiences by publishing a new walking guide. The Newton Stewart Walks Guide is available free of charge and it features 12 easy routes in and around the ‘walkers are welcome’ town. In addition to the new guide, an information board highlighting the

Barend Holiday Village

Cosy, comfy, log cabins with indoor heated pool & sauna, pub & restaurant, bike wash facilities on site; wifi internet access. 0 From £26

for 4 people for 3 nights

Open all year 3 day minimum, any day of entry

Barend Holiday Village, Sandyhills, DG5 4NU

Tel: 01387 780663 www.barend.co.uk

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

wealth of walking opportunities throughout the Cree Valley has also been erected, just outside the Belted Galloway visitor centre in the heart of the town. For those looking for more challenging hikes in the Galloway Hills, or who would like to learn more about the landscape, history and flora and fauna of the area, then the Newton Stewart Walking Festival in May is a must do event. Now in its twelfth year, the festival was recently awarded a prestigious Thistle Award, recognising it as one of the best nature based tourism events in Scotland.

The 2014 week-long festival runs from 9th to 15th May and features more than thirty walks and evening events in and around the Galloway Forest Park, including routes across the Galloway border into Carrick. As in previous years, the event allows participants to explore some of the lesser known parts of Galloway Forest Park, and the surrounding areas, in the safe hands of experienced and knowledgeable guides. Find out more about the 2014 Newton Stewart Walking Festival by visiting their website at www.newtonstewartwalkfest.com or by calling 01671 404500. Free copies of the new Newton Stewart walks guide can be picked up from various local outlets, including the three Galloway Forest Park Visitor Centres.

Airds Farm

Airds Farm offers comfortable B&B & self-catering accommodation in a peaceful & scenic location overlooking Loch Ken and the Galloway hills. t: 01556 670418 e: enquiries@airds.com

Airds Farm, Crossmichael, Castle Douglas DG7 3BG www.airds.com

The Galloway Ranger

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Growing a healthier Galloway Forest Park M aintaining the health, bio diversity and scenic beauty of the Galloway Forest Park is one of our most important jobs. We are working continuously to encourage native woodland to flourish whilst protecting our trees from pests and disease. As you visit some of our amazing woodlands, you’ll probably see evidence of the work we have carried out – and more that needs to be done – to help the Galloway Forest Park to thrive.

From small seeds, large trees do grow!

Native woodlands are a rich habitat, and one that is managed very carefully in the Galloway Forest Park. One of our goals is to create a network of native woodlands that join together, allowing the local flora and fauna to move through the forest. This is a long term process and one that we add to piece by piece, like a long slow jigsaw puzzle. We are giving nature a helping hand to expand the native woodland in the Galloway Forest Park by

collecting seed, growing the seed on and then planting the young trees back in the forest. Wherever possible, we collect seed locally from the trees in the native woodlands that we want to expand. By collecting seed in this way we know that the resulting trees will be well suited to that particular area of forest, and so are more likely to grow well in the soils and climate of Galloway. During the autumn you might see large orange nets suspended under oak trees to collect the acorns dropping from their crowns. These acorns are collected and sent to a tree nursery where they are planted into small containers and grown into small robust trees. These trees are then returned to us two years later and

Staying safe in the Forest

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ou might have read elsewhere about the terrible impact of phythophora ramorum in the Galloway Forest Park. This is a devastating disease affecting larch trees right across Britain, and we have been hit particularly hard by it. Sadly there is no cure for phytopthora and the only thing we can do is fell any trees affected by the disease. We have a program of work to fell as much larch in the Galloway district as possible to provide a buffer zone to protect uninfected larch further afield. We expect this felling to continue throughout 2014, but we are working hard to try to minimise the

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The Galloway Ranger

planted out next to their parents, retaining the genetic diversity and uniqueness of the oak woodlands. Native aspen is another species we are multiplying and planting out in greater numbers than ever before. This species seeds very infrequently so we have to take a different approach to make sure we have enough young trees to plant. Mountain and vegetation surveys have identified over 40 separate very old aspen trees on the cliffs of Galloway where they have escaped being grazed by animals or damaged by fire. We have taken small cuttings from their roots without damaging the tree and have grown these cuttings into small trees to create a ‘Galloway collection’ of site native Galloway aspen. Cuttings from this collection are then used to produce thousands of small aspen trees through a process called micro propagation. If all goes to plan, we will soon be planting out over 100,000 aspen trees each year! We are also using similar techniques to multiply rare willow species and juniper all of which will be used in Galloway to improve our network of native woodlands from the sea to mountain top.

impact of this work on access to the forest and the use of trails. However there may be times that for safety reasons we need to close or divert paths. If this happens we will put up signs to warn of the dangers of felling and we will update the website so people can plan their day without surprises. If you inadvertently find yourself on a harvesting site you should stand well back from the machine and wait until the operator has seen you and indicates it is safe to proceed. Modern harvesting machines are very efficient at felling trees but can be dangerous, so please never approach a machine that is working in the woods.

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


The Life of a Tree Young trees can come from a nursery, be artificially sown, or from natural regeneration of the forest. On average we plant around 4 million trees every year in Galloway, including Sitka Spruce, Scots Pine, Douglas Fir, Oak, Ash, Birch, Rowan and Hawthorn.

Around 100 people are employed every year to plant the trees in the Galloway Forest Park. Whilst they get established, foresters pay attention to weeds, insects, fungi or animal attack that may damage the young plants.

Trees that become established occupy more and more space before starting to compete with each other to win growing space.

Thinning trees removes weakly developed trees and trees of poor health to provide a better environment for developing trees and to improve crop stability. Thinning first takes place when the trees are about 25 years old.

Thinning helps the overall health of the forest while also improving timber quality. Every 5-8 years after the first thinning we thin the trees again until the crop reaches maturity. A network of 1,300km of forest roads are needed to give us access to the forest.

Our trees are fully matured when they are between 50 and 70 years. Once the trees are fully matured they are felled to provide timber for a variety of uses. A number of contractors help us to fell the timber.

Around 700,000m3 of timber are felled each year! That’s equivalent to around 28,000 lorry loads. If these lorries were put end to end the line would stretch for 476 kilometres – that’s the distance from Dumfries to Oxford! Our trees are used as sawlogs for furniture and the construction industry, pulp for paper, chipwood for boarding and woodfuel.

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

The Galloway Ranger

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A few of our favourite things E

Walk: Cornish Trail

ach year we try to pack the Galloway Ranger full of ideas for great days out in the Galloway Forest Park – from must see attractions to hidden gems; inspiring vistas to fascinating experiences; the Galloway Forest Park has so much to offer that there’s always something new to share with readers of the Ranger paper.

A 3.5 mile long hill trail that will take around two and a half hours to complete. Cornish Trail takes you high up on to the open hills above the forest to enjoy panoramic views over large parts of Ayrshire. On a clear day you can even see the rugged peaks of Arran.

The goats here are very used to people so you’ll enjoy some really good sightings of this ancient rare breed of wild goat – park your car and they’ll bound down to greet you.

See the spectacle of the Leonids from the darkest skies in Britain, they’re at their peak on 17th and 18th November this year.

Dumfries & Galloway’s largest dragonfly is well worth spotting. You’ll see them flying back and forth across the Raiders’ Road in May and at the Otter Pool. Identify one and you’ll soon see them everywhere!

We’ve tried to make the most of this spectacular setting by adding picture windows to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre so that you can enjoy this beautiful view in comfort, no matter the weather.

Family: Wild Goat Park

Dark Sky Experience: Leonid Meteor Shower

Wildlife: Golden Ring Dragonfly

View: Clatteringshaws Loch

Picnic Spot: Otter Pool

Biking Trail: Larg Hill (Blue Graded), Kirroughtree

We think that on a sunny day the Otter Pool is one of the best picnic spots in Scotland. A lovely place for a family day out with all the facilities you need.

An accessible singletrack, perfect for families with confident children, with plenty of excitement and wonderful views, particularly if you add the Doon Hill extension.

Hidden Gem: Loch Braden

If you want to feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere whilst enjoying your picnic then Loch Braden is the place to be. It takes about 10 minutes to drive to Loch Braden car park from Stinchar bridge on the Carrick Forest Drive.

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.

Art: ‘Eye’, Black Loch

Created by artist Colin Rose, ‘Eye’ is a perfect 8 metre tall spire made with red earthen tiles, a striking sight which sits by the Black Loch. 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.

Plan Ahead – Choose a route that it is appropriate for group’s fitness level and experience.

Food and Drink – Take plenty of supplies for the group, and extra emergency rations.

Weather – The weather in the Galloway Hills can change rapidly, always check a detailed forecast before setting out.

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

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The Galloway Ranger

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

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland


Festivals & events Wild Spring Festival

Sat 5 Apr – Mon 5 May 2014 Dumfries & Galloway, various venues The region’s annual spring wildlife festival will feature over 100 wildlife events. This year, to celebrate Homecoming Scotland, many of these are focused on the species that come home to the region every Spring. www.wildspringfestival.com

WalkFest

Fri 9 – Thu 15 May 2014 Newton Stewart The biggest walking festival in the South of Scotland offers more than just a walk in the hills, along the coast or amongst wonderful woodlands with a week long programme of guided walks, true hill walking experiences, lower level themed routes and social events. www.newtonstewartwalkfest.co.uk

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival

Fri 16 May – Sun 25 May 2014 Dumfries & Galloway, various venues A 10 day festival that puts on a wide range of activities throughout the region. You’ll find classical, jazz and folk music, alongside children’s events, theatre and dance. www.dgartsfestival.org.uk

Spring Fling

Sat 24 – Sun 26 May 2014 Dumfries & Galloway, various venues At Scotland’s leading visual art and craft open studio event you can get behind the scenes and meet artists and makers whose doors are not usually open to the public. 95 professional visual artists, designers and makers have been specially selected for the high quality of their work. Follow an open studios trail, catch the Spring Fling Bus, or join the official cycle ride. www.spring-fling.co.uk

Castle Douglas Food Town Day

Sat 7 Jun 2014 Castle Douglas, various venues Dumfries & Galloway’s Food Town is famous for its long high street filled with independent retailers, many of them independent food stores. On Castle Douglas Food Town Day there are lots of treats to indulge in, including foodie attractions, cooking demos, tasters and hog roasts. www.cd-foodtown.org

Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival

Thu 12 – Sun 15 Jun 2014 Kirkcudbright, various venues The seventeenth Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival swings into action in June with a 4 day celebration of Trad New Orleans, Dixieland and Swing Jazz. Check out the wide line-up of bands on the festival’s website. www.kirkcudbrightjazzfestival.co.uk

Wickerman Festival

Fri 25 – Sat 26 Jul 2014 Kirkcarswell Farm, nr. Kirkcudbright One of the UK’s best-loved independent music festivals, the Wickerman Festival promises an eclectic mix of music and arts and entertainment for all ages, with multiple stages, camping and glamping, a children’s area, a fancy dress theme and of course the burning of a 40 foot high Wickerman sculpture at midnight on Saturday. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

Wigtown Book Festival

Fri 26 Sep – Sun 5 Oct 2014 Wigtown, various venues With more than 30 book shops, book dealers, publishers and book related businesses, Wigtown is Scotland’s National Book Town. This 10 day literary celebration is now renowned as one of the best autumn festivals in the world, with an impressive line-up of readings, performances and other events. www.wigtownbookfestival.com

Wild Autumn

Sat 11 Oct – Sun 2 Nov 2014 Dumfries & Galloway, various venues A healthy and inspiring way to entertain children over the autumn half term, the annual Wild Autumn festival has dozens of events taking place. www.wildseasons.co.uk

Kirkcudbright Art & Crafts Trail

Fri 1 Aug – Mon 4 Aug 2014 Kirkcudbright, various venues Talk to local artists and find out what makes Kirkcudbright so special to them by joining this family friendly event that takes you into hidden gardens, artists’ studios and homes www.artandcraftstrail.co.uk

CREETOWN PRODUCE MARKET

Adamson Square, Creetown DG8 7JF Time: 10am-3pm Dates: Apr to Oct (Inclusive) on 2nd Sun of each month. (Christmas fair on 2nd Sun of Dec in the Gem Rock Museum, Chain Road, Creetown DG8 7HJ).

DUMFRIES FARMERS’ MARKET

DISCOVER DELICIOUS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY! ARTISAN FOOD, DRINK AND CRAFT BUSINESSES SHOWCASING PRODUCE OF EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AT REGULAR MARKETS ACROSS D&G.

Tarff Town and Country, Lockerbie Road, Dumfries DG1 3PF Time: 11am-3pm Dates: Feb to Dec (inclusive) on 1st Sun of each month. Xmas special market on 21st Dec. Free parking.

LANGHOLM PRODUCERS’ MARKET

The Buccleuch Centre, Thomas Telford Rd, Langholm DG13 0AW Time: 9am-1pm Dates: Feb to Dec (inclusive) on 1st Sat of each month.

LOCKERBIE FARMERS’ MARKET

Lockerbie Town Hall, Bridge Street, Lockerbie DG11 2HE Time: 10am-2pm Date: Feb to Jul (inclusive), then Sep to Dec (inclusive) on 3rd Sat of each month.

MOFFAT FARMERS’ MARKET

Town Hall, High Street, Moffat DG10 9HF Time: 11am-3pm Dates: Feb to Dec (inclusive) 2nd Sun of each month except in Nov when it takes place on Sat 8th Nov.

WIGTOWN MARKET

The Square, Wigtown DG8 9JH Weekly. Check www.dgmarkets.org for details.

GET CONNECTED! LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR ALL THE LATEST MARKET NEWS, PREVIEWS, PHOTOS AND RECIPE IDEAS! Riaghaltas na h-Alba

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The Galloway Ranger

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Colouring competition

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 November 2014. Name: Age: Address:

Postcode: Our chosen winners last year were: Christopher Ferguson age 6 from Bedfordshire and Finlay Margerison age 9 from Dumfries & Galloway.

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.

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The Galloway Ranger

www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

Galloway Ranger 2014  

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...

Galloway Ranger 2014  

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...