Ken-Dee Biosphere Route

A third Biosphere route has now been added to the website. Developed to give a flavour of all aspects of the Biosphere the routes are based around the natural assets provided by rivers and lochs at: Loch Doon and Carrick Forest Drive; Loch Trool and the Cree Valley; and now, Loch Ken and the River Dee.

The Loch Ken and River Dee is a 35 mile circular route starting from Castle Douglas and include a range of attractions that focus on special qualities of the Biosphere; wildlife and natural beauty, heritage and culture, inspiration, tranquillity, local produce and most importantly recreation and enjoyment. Discover osprey and bats at Threave, ancient grave yards, wet woodlands at Ken-Dee marshes, red kites at Bennan as well as Catstrand arts venue and Galloway Activity Centre on Loch Ken.

Look out for the leaflets helping you explore the Biosphere where you can discover nature and landscapes as well as the big Biosphere ideas of conservation, learning and development.

See the routes here.

Searching for Modern Makers

Upland are looking for a small group of young people (16-25 years) from Dumfries and Galloway to take part in Modern Makers 2017. The project is a chance for up to four young people to be tutored intensively for 30-35 days by a professional craft maker to learn craft skills.

The professional makers for the 2017 programme will be slipware potters Douglas Fitch and Hannah McAndrewStudents of the Modern Makers programme will be introduced to all aspects of the slipware process, from the mixing of materials, the making and decorating of the pots, through to assisting in the exciting firing of the pieces in the wood kiln. They will also be offered an insight into the running of a pottery business, visits to other potter’s workshops to explore different approaches to the craft, to galleries and a pottery fair.

See the brief for full details. If you know of anyone who might be interested please tell them about this amazing opportunity.

Biosphere considers future of Scottish Forestry

The Sottish Government recently consulted on the future of forestry in Scotland and invited responses to plans for the devolution of forestry. The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere recognises the important economic contribution of forestry to southwest Scotland but has concerns that a new Forestry Division within the Scottish Government may lead to the loss of the existing regional approach to management and regulation. The Biosphere is also keen to see the Government consider the wider impacts of forestry on local communities, wildlife, water and carbon storage as well as for recreation and tourism.

See the full response from Biosphere here

Explore Biosphere Routes

There is no one place that demonstrates how the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere designation helps inspire a positive future and so a series of Biosphere itineraries have been developed. Look out for the leaflets helping you explore the Biosphere where you can discover nature and landscapes as well as the big Biosphere ideas of conservation, learning and development.

Giving a flavour of all aspects of the Biosphere the routes are based around the natural assets provided by rivers and lochs at: Loch Doon and Carrick Forest Drive; Loch Trool and the Cree Valley; and still in development, Loch Ken and the River Dee.

The itineraries feature businesses and organisations that appreciate the value of the natural assets found in south west Scotland and have shown their aspiration to be proud supporters of the Biosphere by agreeing to the six principles of the Biosphere Charter. The leaflets include a range of attractions that focus on special qualities of the Biosphere; wildlife and natural beauty, heritage and culture, inspiration, tranquillity, local produce and most importantly recreation and enjoyment.

The Biosphere ethos aims to encourage cooperation and collaboration to show that a sustainable way of living is not only possible but already happening. The new leaflets illustrate the wide ranging ambitions of the Biosphere to inspire a positive future that benefits both people and nature.  Taken together the routes illustrate how the Biosphere designation is an accolade that is relevant to all of us.

See the routes here.

Reach for the Stars! – Business Opportunities from the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park – 6th October

Take a leap into the dark and be inspired to make the most of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. With estimates that the park has the potential to bring in £1m annually to the region over the winter months it is an opportunity not to miss. Whether you are a tourism business, or a business that is looking to use natural assets of the region for inspiration and growth this is an event that could give you the edge. In the company of a Biosphere Dark Sky Ranger you will enjoy a star gazing experience. We will give you examples of how you can take advantage of this amazing place and meet with other businesses creating opportunities from the Dark Sky Park and the regions natural and cultural heritage. Come along and join us and benefit from the connections you will make

Time: 18.30 – 21.00

Venue: Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Cost: Free

Booking: Essential (limited places)

For more information please contact Marie McNulty, marie@gsabiosphere.org.uk at the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere or phone 07467374963

Dumfries & Galloway Business Week 2016

 

Creative Arts Share and Learn Event – Great stories to tell – 6th October

Dumfries and Galloway has a wealth of Creative Artists, small scale producers, makers and crafts people all with great stories to tell – many inspired by the areas natural and cultural environment. This event is focused on sharing those stories and learning how to create your own story to help your business grow. As well as a great opportunity to connect with others you will hear from businesses within D & G that are successfully using the areas natural assets in developing their business. Communications and PR professional Matthew Shelley will be joining us to share his wealth of knowledge on effective communications and how to get your message and story to the right people – connecting customers and others with you and your creative arts business.

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Date: 6th October, Thursday

Time 13.30 – 15.30

Venue: Glentrool Gallery and Craft Shop – Glentrool Centre

Cost: Free

Booking: Essential

For more information please contact Marie McNulty, marie@gsabiosphere.org.uk at the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere or phone 07467374963

Dumfries & Galloway Business Week 2016

Art + Science = Biosphere

The Biosphere provides the setting for an inspiring quest for a landscape of science providing a stimulating day of events that explore the connections between art, science and place on the 28th August 2016.

The quest starts with a visit to Glenlair, the home of James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), who discovered many of nature’s fundamental forces through his theories on electromagnetism and light. Owner of Glenlair and Maxwell champion, Duncan Ferguson, will lead a walk into the countryside Maxwell knew as a boy and international musician, Wendy Stewart, will play harp music inspired by his discoveries.

From there we will head north to Sanquhar to explore Charles Jenck’s Crawick Multiverse, a spectacular land art influenced by current theories about cosmology and the Multiverse. Artist Jan Hogarth and musician Wendy Stewart will continue the discussion and debate about landscape, art and science.

In the evening the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown will talk on the magic of cosmology at A’ the Airts venue in Sanquhar.

Find out more here.

To book contact: jan@wide-open.net or tel. 07801232229

Shooting Stars in the Biosphere

Jesse Beaman and Helen Cockburn of Viridian Skies have recently joined the team of Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers and their first event is on the 9th August at Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. Join them to spot shooting stars with refreshments by Galloway Lodge Preserves. This will be a magical evening where adults and children can experience the universe and learn about the cosmos.

Book by phoning Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre on 01644 420285

Biosphere black grouse conservation

 

Black grouse are one of our iconic species in the Biosphere but declined by 49% between 1996 and 2005 in South west Scotland. A new regional strategic conservation plan has just been developed to provide guidance on reversing their decline in southern Scotland. The plan sets out priority actions including:

 Increasing breeding productivity and over-winter survival in areas including the Galloway Forest Park and Cairnsmore of Fleet;

 Habitat enhancements on the moor fringe using agri-environment/woodland scheme applications and appropriate forest management;

 Increasing connectivity between black grouse areas and

 Targeted predator management.

The full plan is available here

If you would like to know more about managing your land for black grouse you can also download the Black grouse section of the Biosphere Natural Heritage Management Plan here.

The Biosphere Natural Heritage Officers would be keen to help you get the advice you need so you can contact them on wendy@gsabiosphere.org or emily@gsabiosphere.org

Image used under license from shutterstock

Ballantrae smugglers return

Proud supporters of the Biosphere, Ballantrae Development Group have extended celebrations of their smuggling heritage with a number of activities across the summer months. Commenting on this year’s Festival, Andy McAlpine of the Organising Group said:
“We wanted to move away from the idea that our Smugglers’ Festival had to be over a number of consecutive days in August.  We are delighted with the response to the Road Trip, the Children’s Book, the Exhibition and the “Smuggling Trails”.  Now it’s time to turn our attention to 4 events in Ballantrae in August. We look forward to the return of the fabulous tall ship La Malouine.  The added bonus for us this year is ITV are planning to film her and her involvement in our Smugglers’ Festival.”
On the evening of Friday 5 August at 7.45pm the tall ship La Malouine will be landing the contraband in Ballantrae Bay. On the following evening – Saturday 6 August – at 6.30pm teams of two from the village and surrounding communities will compete to win the Ballantrae Smugglers “Strongman Challenge”.
On Saturday 13 August at 7.30pm there will be a Smugglers’ Supper in the King’s Arms, Ballantrae.
Sunday 14 August is the day of “The Ballantrae Smugglers’ Chase” at 2pm in Ballantrae Bay with crews of smugglers in skiffs from the surrounding area and further afield competing for the locally crafted trophy.
Details of all 4 events can be found at here