Newsletter – April 2018

Explore the big Biosphere ideas in this edition of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere news!
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100th Business Supporter Milestone for the Biosphere.
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere have reached a new milestone with the 100th business signing up as a Biosphere Proud Supporter. Home Cook School is based in Maybole South Ayrshire where owner Lindsay Guidi can now show her commitment by displaying her ‘Proud Supporter’ certificate and using the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Proud Supporter logo. 
Lindsay said “I am really proud to be the 100th Business Supporter in the Biosphere. Food is my passion and as an Ayrshire business many of my lessons focus on 'Scottish', 'Ayrshire', seasonal cooking and food culture.  I am an advocate of healthy eating habits and encourage 'grow your own' principles through my lessons. As a business it is important to me to support and work with other business so I use produce from food businesses and farmers locally. It’s great to be recognised by the Biosphere for how I operate my business and be acknowledged for sharing the same principles”

Maybole is just one of the many small towns and surrounding villages in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere that are just as important to its existence and well-being as the National Nature Reserves of Cairnsmore, Silver Flowe and the Merrick Kells Site of Special Scientific Interest which together make up  the Biospheres Core Areas.

Councillor Alec Clark, representing South Ayrshire Council on the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership said: “This is an important milestone for the Biosphere we now have 100 businesses and social enterprises raising the profile of our Biosphere and promoting the value of working with nature. Biospheres across the globe attract large numbers of tourists so our visitor attractions, accommodation providers, restaurants and other businesses could all benefit. There are only two Biospheres in Scotland so we are keen to shout about our status from the rooftops”

Picture of Lindsay (centre) receiving her certificate from Joan Mitchell Chair of the Biosphere Partnership and South Ayrshire Council partnership representative Councillor Alec Clark

Changing Landscapes

At the end of January the Biosphere team ran an event that focused on the many pressures facing land use in South West Scotland. This event was the Biosphere’s first step towards bringing together a range of land use sectors, communities and private business to discuss approaches to land management, both now and in the future, the concerns and opportunities for the area and the appetite for implementing a land use strategy and regional land use partnership.

We recognise that we can’t do this on our own but need to bring others to the table where working together we can ultimately not just benefit individual industries but also create the ground work for a more sustainable rural economy that will sustain vibrant rural communities. 

A copy of the event report can be down loaded here  

Whithorn becomes a Biosphere Community

Whithorn is the latest town within the Biosphere to become recognised as a Biosphere Community. This gives Whithorn an opportunity to take a lead in developing more sustainable ways of living that will benefit the environment, economy and community of the area and to promote its association with the internationally recognised UNESCO Biosphere. The “Sense of Place” workshop was organised by the Biosphere Team and run in partnership with local communities and local businesses. The workshop explored what is special about Whithorn and what gives it its 'Sense of Place'.  Feedback from the workshop along with written contributions from those present  has been used to create the Whithorn Biosphere Community web page on the Biosphere website, promoting Whithorn as a destination in the UNESCO Biosphere; 

Biosphere Bounty!

Ayrshire College HND tourism and events students did the Biosphere proud with a fantastic Biosphere Awarenes raising event for students and staff about the great places to stay and visit in Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere...Read More 


A new report demonstrating opportunities for business from the UNESCO Biosphere reserve worldwide network features case studies from Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. Two years from its launch, previously unavailable data from the OASIIS platform has been collated into the first OASIIS Biennial Report.. You can read the report HERE

SHAPING up tourism ideas for Glentrool and Cree Valley

Some interesting tourism ideas were explored at the Sustainable Heritage Areas: Partnerships for Ecotourism workshop meeting at Glentrool Community Centre. 

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere are a partner in a 3-year project funded by EU through the European Commission’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The aim is to create collaborations to develop innovative approaches to eco-tourism initiatives which preserve, manage and create economic value from local assets. The project partners are University of the Highlands and Islands, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Greenland and Wester Ross in Scotland. 

In all of these places, cultural and natural heritage are key elements of the local identity, and heritage is a fundamental basis for tourism. Tourism needs heritage assets and, if stakeholders work together, tourism can be a key factor in ensuring that the resources to maintain, protect and add value to these assets are available in the long term. 

The Glentrool event brought together a range of people from community, businesses and organisations who have an interest in or involved in natural resource management, tourism development and cultural heritage. In the workshop participants mapped the assets in the area, discussed the challenges in partnership working and explored ideas for tourism in and around the Glentrool and Cree valley area. Ideas that emerged were around building on the social and cultural history of the area and the changes of landscape use over time, new nature-based tourism opportunities and events, festivals and activities linked to the 'Dark Skies' of the area.

Free Support Advice for Businesses to become more energy efficient and help Eliminate Energy Costs

Businesses in Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere: with support from Resource Efficient Scotland eliminate unnecessary costs with cashback on energy efficiency improvements.
For a limited time only, eligible small or medium businesses applying for the interest-free, unsecured Scottish Government SME Loan can receive 30% cashback up to £10,000 in cashback on completion of their energy efficiency improvements. These include, but are not limited to:
  •  investing in LED lighting 
  • installing more efficient heating systems
  • improving the insulation of a building
  • or investing in more energy efficient equipment, such as a more efficient refrigeration unit.
To find out more about the SME Loan 30% Cashback incentive, and to apply, contact your local Resource Efficient Scotland Implementation Advisor  01292 525 516 or visit
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