Biosphere Newsletter – February 2023

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Welcome to our February 2023 newsletter...

The shortest month can feel like the longest as we keenly look forward to warmer days with more light. Our team is hopeful that we can put some literal spring in everyone's steps with our news and forthcoming events.

For updates on ongoing projects, find us on social media via the links at the bottom of this page. Any feedback on our features, or is there something you'd like to know more about? Contact our team via  

The photo below was taken at Biosphere Certification Mark holder Kitchen Coos & Ewes, where Marie and Sara (our Business Development and Land Use leads respectively) had a great day out at the beginning of February. Janet and Neale's families have been farming here for generations and their stories of these historic connections with the land were not only fascinating but very moving. Truly a unique stop on Scotland's UNESCO Trail.

Thank you to everyone who came out in a very cold wind to participate in our public consultation at St John's Town of Dalry. GSAB with our core funders South of Scotland Enterprise and D&G Council have identified a site for our proposed new eco-office, and we're keenly seeking input from local residents on how such a development could best support and celebrate life, heritage, and the environment in this Biosphere Community. If you live in Dalry and couldn't make it in person have your say via the digital survey linked below. (survey closes on 19th Feb). Pic taken at the the Town Hall where architects, interpretation experts and members of our team were on hand to show the plans at their current stage. Special thanks to St John's Town of Dalry Community Council and the Glenkens Gazette for helping us promote this event.
Click here for the survey on GSAB's new eco-office development
We're proud to be working alongside Nith Life, a grassroots, community-led organisation exploring the past, present and future of the River Nith. The restoration of riparian habitats is a critical issue in conservation nationwide; Nith Life is particularly interested in how to help people connect with the river through art, culture and storytelling, and in how an exchange of knowledge and ideas can help secure the catchment's environmental and economic future. If you'd like to get involved please join the upcoming Community Visioning Workshop at Sanquhar on 18th February, bookable (free) via the link below. Alternatively contact to find out more. 
We're excited to be partnering with Proud Supporter organisation the South of Scotland Destination Alliance to deliver a Stories from the Biosphere workshop on 28th Feb at the Quarrymen's Art Centre in Creetown. We'll be exploring the concept of 'experience' as part of sustainable tourism, the value of your individual green stories, and how to amplify the voice of your sustainable business through connection with the global UNESCO brand. GSAB and SSDA will be joined by special guests Sarah Redman (of Creeside Escape and Swim the Lochs - both awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark for sustainability) and Ian Tunaley from VisitScotland, who will be talking about Scotland's UNESCO Trail. If you are a business owner or manager please do come along - the workshop is open to all in D&G and Ayrshire as well.
Click to book for Stories from the Biosphere with GSAB & SSDA
Anyone interested in learning how to use the iNaturalist app and participating in some extremely useful citizen science is warmly invited to join us at Glentrool Hive on 3rd March - World Wildlife Day - when our Project Support Officer Malcolm Haddow will officially launch The Biosphere's Most Wanted: a nature recording project covering the entire 5,268km² of our UNESCO Biosphere. Below are the six particular species we want to track down - come along to Glentrool to find out why! Everyone can get involved in this project - all you need is a mobile phone, and we'll show you how to use iNaturalist in a wee workshop before heading out for a walk. The Biosphere's Most Wanted is free to book via the link below and you are welcome to stay for lunch.
Click here to find out more about The Biosphere's Most Wanted
The Wool Gathering is the social side of our Blackface wool pilot project, which is exploring innovative and sustainable uses for fleece from this iconic local breed. By popular demand we'll be hosting our fourth Bleat n' Blether in the Biosphere Community of Barrhill on 6th March. This is an informal meet-up over hot drinks and cake, and anyone with even a passing interest in wool is very welcome to attend. Free to book via the link below. 
Click here to book your place at the Barrhill Bleat n' Blether
What better way to spend a Friday night than with Cumnock History Group and a range of amazing partners in East Ayrshire, including the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Coalfield Communities, and the Cumnock Tryst. Faith (our Communities Officer) and Tamara (Communications) had a great evening celebrating the launch of 'Ploughing Up Our Past', the book accompanying a volunteer research project that looked at local farming heritage in and around Cumnock, New Cumnock, Ochiltree and Auchinleck.   

Finally...a warm welcome to all the individuals, businesses and community groups that have signed up as Proud Supporters of our UNESCO Biosphere recently. They include Killochan Castle on the banks of the River Girvan - luxury accommodation in a 14th century stronghold; independent art studio and shop Pastel Fox Studio in Girvan; and Foraging Scotland, headed by Galloway-based wild food tour guide Jesse Beaman. 
Click here to meet our Proud Supporter businesses and plan your next shopping trip, food & drink experience or Biosphere adventure
Don't forget that we're social! Follow our daily news and activities via the links below:
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