The Cally Temple Project is an example of how the passion of local people for their historic environment can lead to heritage projects that create opportunities for volunteering and learning.

There will be three illustrated talks on the Cally Temple project and the Designed Landscape of Cally in the Faed Gallery, Mill on the Fleet at 2 pm on Thursday 25th June. This will be followed by a visit to the Temple where there will be an opportunity to hear some of the poems which have been inspired by the Cally Temple project.

This will be a great opportunity to learn all about what has been achieved at Cally over the last few years, to learn how Gatehouse has been working with communities from across Europe and to see the restoration work which has been carried out at the Temple.

The Cally Temple project is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Forestry Commission, South West Environmental Action Trust, Solway Heritage, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Book Trust, the Galloway Preservation Society and the Murray Usher Foundation

20 new biosphere reserves

From Algeria to Viet Nam 20 new Biosphere Reserves have been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bringing their total number to 651 sites in 120 countries.

New reserves are designated each year by the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere Programme. See more here.


The Biosphere Project is seeking a Business Development Officer with great communication skills and an enthusiasm to develop opportunities that promote the Biosphere as a brand and destination.

Closing date for application is Friday 26th June 2015.

Full details are available from www.sup.org.uk



Glentrool Rocks

There is more to Glentrool than Bruce’s Stone. From ancient tombs to silver mines discover the story behind the rocks beneath our feet and how they have shaped our history.

A free talk by Nic Coombey introducing the geology of the Glentrool area will take place at Glentrool Community Centre on Wednesday 10th June at 2.00pm.

More talks will take place over the next few months. Future topics include squirrels, dry stone walls and the history of Galloway villages.


Wigtown and Bladnoch Food Festival aims to build on the success of last year with a second event in 2015 the year of Food and drink.

Held in Wigtown County Buildings over two days on the 23rd and 24th May the weekend will feature a selection of local food and drinks to tempt you. On the Sunday there will be inspirational cooking demonstrations using products on sale at the Food Festival.

Find out more here.

An introduction to pine martens

Glentrool hosts the second of a series of ‘Take a closer look…at the Biosphere’ talks with Martin Webber, from Forestry Commission Scotland, who will be talking about the spread of the elusive pine marten in Galloway Forest Park.

The FREE talk will take place Glentrool Community Centre, in the village on 13th May at 2.00pm and all are welcome.

More talks will be taking place over the next few months with future topics including geology, squirrels, dry stone walls and the history of Galloway villages and towns.

Countdown to Food Festival

Final preparations are underway for Scotland’s newest food festival.   The very first Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink – being organised by a volunteer group of villagers with support from the Biosphere – is being held in a grand marquee at Ballantrae harbour this coming Sunday 10 May from 12noon until 6pm. Entry is FREE.  So whatever the weather, it’s set to be a fun day with something for all food lovers, whether you enjoy cooking, or just like eating!.

With its menu of local specialities, slow food and wild produce, the Festival has a very different flavour to the fast food era.   Sunday’s event reflects the growing popularity of high quality food produced locally.  Ayrshire led the way in introducing farmers’ markets to Scotland and the Festival builds on that success. Tourism is crucial to the economy of the area and research has shown that three out of four people think that eating local cuisine enhances their visit to Scotland.

Festival organiser Susan Crosthwaite says:  “There’s a real buzz about this event.  We’re hoping it will put Ballantrae well and truly on the food map.”

Susan has also been passing on the health message in local schools: “I’ve been talking to the pupils and staff about the importance of fresh local food and have been getting a great response.  The children’s paintings portraying a healthy “rainbow diet” will be on show.  With children’s play areas nearby it should be a good day out for younger children too”.

Writer and broadcaster, Kirsty Wark will be demonstrating her cookery skills, using a special locally found ingredient foraged for her by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. As well as a full afternoon’s menu of demonstrations, there are pop-up restaurants from Glenapp Castle, Marrbury Smokehouse and Drumbreddan Hog Roast, live music by Pulse Jazz Combo and an array of stalls selling fresh food and drink.   Around the area, special menus will be on offer showcasing local produce.

For details of free transport to the event from Stranraer, Girvan and Barrhill and a full programme, visit


Glentrool hosts Biosphere talks

Glentrool, a village located near to the centre of the Biosphere, is running a series of free talks on the theme of Take a closer look…. and Crystal Maw, RSPB site manager will be give the first on 22nd April at 2.00pm by introducing some of the RSPB Reserves in the Biosphere.

The talks will be taking place at Glentrool Community Centre, in the centre of the village, over the next six months. Future topics include pine martins, geology, squirrels, dry stone walls and the history of Galloway villages and towns and will be featured on the Biosphere website.

Become a Dark Sky host

Can you help give the new Dark Sky Rangers a flying start in 2015? We are looking for accommodation providers from all sectors to volunteer to host a dark sky event at their premises this Autumn. You will get a great event run by one of the new Dark Sky Rangers that you can offer your customers and the chance to be the first to take this experience to a new level. All we need you to do is:
1. Sign up to the new Biosphere Charter
2. Allow a Dark Sky Ranger to set up and run an event at your location ( on this occasion only the travel costs for the Ranger will be required)

We are looking for a range of accommodation sectors (hotel, B&B, Guesthouse, camping & caravan park, self-catering) to demonstrate what can be done so please participate regardless of the size of your business.

If you think you can help please send details to chimwemwe@gsabiosphere.org.uk

Newton Stewart Walking Festival

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is an ideal location for walking. With a programme of guided walks between 8th – 14th May 2015 the Newton Stewart Walking Festival  provides an ideal way to explore wild hills, romantic coastlines and beautiful woodlands. Now in its 13th year the Walking Festival offers an opportunity to explore the heart of the Biosphere and include an opportunity to walk along the Range of the Awful Hand or visit the Deil’s Boolin Green. Find out more here