Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

World class for people and nature

The Wool Gathering

Promoting the sustainability and versatility of local wool

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The World’s To Do List

Tackling local problems through global goals

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Coalfield Communities

Exploring the past and future of East Ayrshire

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Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Covering more than 5,200 km² of southwest Scotland, Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere follows the rivers that flow out of the Galloway Hills: through forests and farmland, historic villages and towns, all the way to a ruggedly scenic coast.

As a region, our Biosphere includes iconic wildlife and natural habitats which are recognised as being of international importance. As an organisation, we create and facilitate partnerships that support conservation, learning, and a sustainable local economy. As a team, we are helping our communities become more resilient to climate change impacts, making Galloway and Southern Ayrshire a key part of the nationwide drive to achieve Net Zero goals by 2045.

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Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is recognised as a world class environment for people and nature.

Our Biosphere designation was awarded in 2012 by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. There are more than 700 Biospheres around the world, a dynamic and interactive network working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Every UNESCO Biosphere is a centre for learning and research, and for testing solutions to some of the most critical challenges of our time.

Our programme addresses climate change impacts, land use and the biodiversity crisis. Individual and community wellbeing is an essential part of our remit, encouraging a closer connection with the world around us and ensuring the sustainable provision of food, fibre and fuel. Alongside local stakeholders, partner organisations and members of UNESCO’s global network, Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is sharing knowledge, experience and ideas in pursuit of a better future for all.

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What We Do

Our ordinary is extraordinary

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is a place of inspiration and discovery, where countless generations of travellers have paused to sit beside rivers and gaze across wild landscapes. Some of Scotland’s best-known thinkers and writers have spent time here, from St Ninian to Robert Burns. Today visitors are welcomed into our rural communities and invited to enjoy a cultural scene that celebrates the richness of Biosphere life.

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Latest News & Events

16 Jun

Food, fun and community at Ballantrae Festival

If it’s Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink then summer is definitely here! Last weekend (11th & 12th June) was […]

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4 May

We’re Hiring! Development Roles (x2) for early career applicants

Development Roles (2 posts) 12 month contract, full time (37.5hrs) Salary – £18,525 p.a. Location – Hybrid (office & home […]

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27 Apr

The Biosphere’s Wool Project wins funding support from the Blackface Breeders’ Association

In autumn 2021 Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere launched The Wool Gathering, an initiative to promote the versatility of […]

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