Biosphere Newsletter – June 2023

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Welcome to our June newsletter!

It's high season for exploring the Biosphere and our new interpretation panels are proving their worth. The one below is at the entrance to Garries Park in the Biosphere Community of Gatehouse of Fleet, with some inspiring photos taken by our team and generously shared by Galloway Cycling Holidays

In between newsletters you can always catch up with us on social media - links are 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  

In VERY exciting news GSAB's Business Development team has been invited to join British Wool at this year's Royal Highland Show, which takes place at Ingliston, Edinburgh on 22nd-25th June. We'll be  showcasing the first prototype garments created by our Blackface wool pilot project which launched in 2021 with the goal of exploring how we could add value to fleece produced the GSA Biosphere region. If you're coming to RHS as well and please stop by the retail area to give us some feedback on the first samples of Blackface garments. Link below to read more about the project and partners; if you'd like to get involved with the social side join us over at The Wool Gathering, our public Facebook group.

The Wool Gathering & GSAB's Blackface wool project
Our Community & Education team have spent the last few months working with southwest Scotland's Scouts and Guides groups to create a new Biosphere badge, which launched at the beginning of June. The accompanying Activities Booklet is full of fun adventures for ages 4-18 and completion of six activities earns you the Biosphere badge! Booklets and badges are free to Leaders upon request, please email Photo shows members of the 33rd Ayrshire Scout Group (Dalmellington) who were officially the first group to in Scotland to get this brand new badge!
Read more about the Biosphere badge for Scouts and Guides
Balmangan Farm at Borgue is home to Biosphere Certification Mark business Solway View and managed in a nature-positive way, using regenerative farming methods and setting aside wild space for plants, bugs and birds. We're excited to be joining owners Neil and Patricia for a summer BioBlitz event on 17th June between 12:30-16:00 (drop-in as you wish or stay for the whole afternoon - bring a packed lunch!). Activities will include botanical and breeding bird surveys and invertebrate sweep netting, plus a special BioBlitz challenge. Free to attend and bookable below. Pic shows a lovely and incredibly special bee orchid growing at Balmangan Farm.
Book now for the Balmangan Farm BioBlitz
Representatives from organisations across the southwest have come together for a discovery session as part of establishing a new Dark Sky Network that will re-catalyse conversations in Galloway about dark sky conservation. Stakeholders are warmly invited to join an informal workshop at Glentrool on 22nd June - you'll be participating in a collaborative network that includes the GSA Biosphere with Forestry & Land Scotland, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, Elizabeth Tindal (Biosphere Dark Sky Ranger), the Dark Space Planetarium, Geoffrey Lindop (Dryfe Publications), Glentrool Hive, and VisitScotland. Book to attend via the link below.
Book to attend 'Reanimating Dark Skies in Galloway'
Our Biosphere-wide nature recording project The Biosphere's Most Wanted is coming to Gatehouse of Fleet on 24th June. This is a fun wildlife workshop exploring some fascinating local species and having a go at nature recording with the iNaturalist app. As an added bonus Peter Norman from SWSEIC will be leading a walk at Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR the following morning (25/06, 10am-12 noon). You can book for Most Wanted via the link below and if you'd like to come on the walk simply meet at the NNR Visitor Centre car park, Dromore Farm, DG7 2BP (no need to book a place on the walk). Bring suitable outdoor clothing for weather/rough tracks.

Book The Biosphere's Most Wanted on Eventbrite
We'll be venturing beyond the Biosphere boundary on 1st July as we join Nith Life for the next Community Visioning Workshop at Glencaple. Community Visioning is an innovative way of allowing local people to participate in mapping the future of life and work in the River Nith catchment. Nith Life is especially exciting for looking at the entire length of the river, and including art, culture, industry and social life as well as nature restoration. The Glencaple event is free to attend and includes light lunch and refreshments, book your place below.

Book for Community Visioning at Glencaple
We're delighted to have achieved accreditation as a Living Wage Employer last month. The Living Wage Foundation and accredited employers are helping to create a more just and compassionate society through providing jobs with stable and sufficient income. The GSA Biosphere has created ten new jobs since 2021 and by becoming accredited we are committing to ensuring that all GSAB employees are paid at or above the Real Living Wage both now and in the future. Find out more in our short feature, linked below. 

GSAB becomes a certified Living Wage Employer

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 adventure sports company Galloway Canyoning, natural soap and skincare company The Kitchen Witch, local growers Castle Douglas Herbs, and All Saints Scottish Episcopal Church at Challoch, Newton Stewart. The commitment of local people to sustainability is amazing and everyone on Team GSAB firmly believes it demonstrates how southwest Scotland can be a model of better living for other regions and communities at home and abroad. 
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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