Supporting Habitat Management

We are providing a unique opportunity for land managers within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere to receive advice on habitat management and participate in a collaborative project seeking funding to restore or create valuable habitat though the SRDP Environmental Cooperation Fund (ECAF). We are looking for people interested in a collaborative project within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere area aiming at managing or restoring special Biosphere habitats with an application to the SRDP Environmental Cooperation Fund later in 2016.

Our Natural Heritage Management Plan  contains information to help you manage the habitats that have been identified as particularly important within the Biosphere. We can provide advice on these special habitats and this could add value to your SRDP Agriculture Environment and Climate Scheme application.

We need your help!
Biosphere’s aim to support conservation of habitats and species whilst also supporting sustainable economic development.To help us better understand where our High Focus Species and Habitats occur in the Biosphere please complete a very short survey here

If you are interested then please contact us on;


Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has commissioned a short film to show the relationship between Biosphere principles and social enterprises which will be premiered at the upcoming 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima, Peru, 14th – 17th March 2016.

The film will demonstrate how a successful business, Adventure Centre for Education (ACE), uses the special environment of the Biosphere as an asset to provide outdoor experiences which also benefit local communities. The filming by jstrollmedia will capture young people undertaking a variety of adventurous activities to gain skills, build confidence and appreciate nature while enjoying the outdoors. Filming in January will provide a challenge for participants clambering through gorges, canoeing on lochs, cycling through woodlands or exploring a rocky coasts.

The film is part of an ongoing international initiative supported by The Scottish Government to demonstrate Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in social enterprise.

Where are all the water voles?

A water vole project is in development as part of the Natural Heritage work being undertaken within Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. The plan is to enable volunteers to carry out surveys to establish the presence or absence of water voles across the Biosphere area.  This project will continue an earlier focus on water voles during the Building Opportunity in the Biosphere project when a range of water vole experts and enthusiasts came together for a one day symposium.

Although there have been many water vole surveys carried out with the Biosphere, there are also many gaps in the records of their presence and, as they are one of the nine High Focus species selected as of great importance and concern within the Biosphere, one of the aims is to achieve a better understanding of their current presence and the obstacles to widening their occurrence. The project will bring together groups that have previously undertaken water vole studies, along with volunteers new to such work. For more details and how to get involved please contact Wendy;

Photo by Stuart Brabbs


Climate Ready Biosphere Vision

The Climate Ready Biosphere Vision and Action Plan were launched by Climate Change Minister, Aileen McLeod MSP. Aileen said, ‘No single organisation, business or community will be able to adapt to climate change in isolation, which is why this work is so important. The Climate ready Biosphere Vision, produced by Biosphere and Adaptation Scotland, sets out how this project will provide valuable insight and leadership on climate change adaptation in the coming years and months. Find out more here


Festival success

The EAFS Unicorn, by EAFS recharge team and created by Jan Hogarth, became a mascot for EAFS event at Morton Castle. The Unicorn, an ancient symbol of transformation, provided an engaging spectacle connecting hope with reality.

Environmental art is one of many ways we can make connections and inspire a positive future. Both Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS) and Sanctuary were held in the Biosphere and provided opportunities for people to experience the landscape in new and exciting ways. Both events were only made possible by many people collaborating and cooperating to achieve a wide range of remarkable experiences. Find out more from the Sanctuary Report and the Environmental Art Festival Scotland Report



Biosphere hosts international conference

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere played host to an international conference on social enterprise and Biosphere Reserves. Facilitated by Assist Social Capital CIC (ASC) delegates from Biosphere Reserves across the world where brought together. The meeting was aimed at supporting a new vision for Biosphere Reserves for inclusive Sustainable Development for the upcoming 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima, Peru, 14th – 17th March 2016.

The conference co-hosted by Colin Campbell (ASC, Scotland) and Johanna MacTaggart (Swedish National Biosphere Reserves Coordinator) brought together representatives from Scotland, England, Wales, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Vietnam and South Korea. The conference aim was to create a collective response to introducing social enterprises in biosphere reserves to support sustainable economic and social development. As part of the 3 day event ACE in Girvan and Catstrand in New Galloway where visited by the delegates and the challenges and aspirations of being a social enterprise was shared with interest. This event was part of an ongoing international initiative demonstrating Scotland’s ambition as a global leader in social enterprise supported by The Scottish Government.

Dyfi Biosphere visit

A group from Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and DGERC (Dumfries and Galloway Environmwntal Resources Centre) recently visited the Dyfi Biosphere to attend an event on the COBWEB (Citizen OBservatory WEB) project. This is an EU funded project led by Chris Higgins of Edinburgh University, with the aim of creating a platform to enable citizens within UNESCO Biosphere Reserves to collect environmental data using mobile devices. These can range from social through to science surveys. It has been trialled in Biospheres in Greece, Wales and Germany. At the Dyfi Biosphere, a range of groups within the Biosphere tested COBWEB including a school, RSPB, an outdoor centre, a community woodland group and a marine wildlife centre. Uses included a range of biological monitoring and habitat identification. Volunteers were provided with tablets or phones on which an app was installed, containing a survey designed by each group, to enable the volunteers to undertake paperless surveys out in the field. The app automatically records grid references and the participants input relevant data.

The groups that participated in the trial tested the software and their feedback on the usability of the app will be fed into its further development. At this meeting all the groups agreed that, despite some hiccups along the way, not only had they enjoyed using the app and it had helped in achieving their targets, but that it had also brought the groups together, swapping information and learning from each other –  all important achievements within a Biosphere. The project comes to an end in 2017 but they carrying out further trials next year so here at Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere we are investigating whether it would help deliver one of our projects – further information to follow.

Wild Autumn Festival competition

The Wild Autumn Festival is in full swing and includes a competition to get behind the scenes of the BBC Autumnwatch 2015 live from WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre. So how do you enter the competition to win this fantastic experience?

Simple, just come along to any of the events in the Wild Autumn Festival and take a photo of yourself at the event holding up the Wild Seasons logo and post it to our facebook page, tweet it to us @wildseasonsdg or e-mail it to us Use the hashtag #WildAutumn when you post it so that we can find it and remember to include your name and how we should contact you if you win.

Make sure we get your photo by the end of the final day of the festival – Monday 26th October because the name will be pulled out of the hat on the following morning. See here for more details.

Fungi Foray

From deadly to delicious there are numerous fungi to be found in the Galloway Woods. Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust, one of many organisations who support the Biosphere, are running a guided walk at Holm Wood on the afternoon of the 9th October. It will be led by a local expert to help you discover the wonderful world of fungi. Booking essential find out more here.

don’t miss sanctuary 2015

Sanctuary 2015 is a 24-hour site-specific public art event in the heart of the Biosphere on the 26th / 27th September. Take part in an experimental space that brings together new work ranging from performance and light installations to sound works, video projections and radio transmissions. Artists and members of the public collaborate for 24 hours to form a temporary community within the Biosphere / Galloway Dark Sky Park. Biosphere is sponsor of SUMA an exciting and immersive sonic experience which takes its inspiration from Balkan songs of trees and forests. We’re looking forward to meeting you there.