Newsletter – January 2019

Explore the big Biosphere ideas in this edition of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere news!
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PLACE in the Biosphere

The PLACE In The Biosphere Project officers, Lynsay & Jono, have been exploring the three participating landscape areas in the PLACE project; People, Land, Art, Culture & Environment.
Following introductions to PLACE at community councils; open meetings have been held in each community where all residents have been invited to share information about what makes their place special.
Whilst covenanter tales and red squirrels were a common feature linking every community; Borgue Peninsula, once “the land of milk and honey”, has an intriguing Viking history; a distinctive picturesque landscape, and many castellated John Brown architectural structures dotting its beautiful coastline.
Wigtownshire Moors boasts ancient burial cairns and unique artworks at New Luce; a ruined abbey, nature trails, woodlands, lochs and the only court sanctioned public footpath in Scotland in Old Luce; to old mills along the biodiverse River Bladnoch at Kirkcowan - evidence of bygone industrial heritage.  
Barr, at the eastern end of the Stinchar Valley, has several walking/cycling trails at Changue Woods, where wildlife thrives. At Pinmore & Pinwherry, legend has it that at midsummer, the shadow of Knockdolian Hill meets a local standing stone (the Glake Stane). Barrhill, proud of their excellent playpark, has several thriving special interest clubs and nationwide connectivity thanks to its railway station; Colmonell church has world famous stained glass; and where the Stinchar meets the sea, Ballantrae has many globally unique geological features.
“We’ve met so many enthusiastic people,” said Lynsay. “There’s a huge sense of pride about where they live, and a wealth of hidden gems out there. We’re looking forward to exploring this further in the next stage of the project.” 

SHAPING up nicely - Latest from SHAPE project

Stakeholders in Galloway and Southern Ayrshire were given the opportunity to look at previously unseen images taken in their area from the early 1970’s to the late 1990’s. During the SHAPE asset mapping workshops, the local Museum at Newton Stewart revealed that a collection of slides was in their possession donated by the family of a local Doctor. The collection of over 2000 slides taken over a period of 30 years had been carefully catalogued by Dr Lang. He was clearly a man who was passionate about the local area having taken so many photos of its natural assets, the local landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna, falcons, comets, snow, lichens - the list goes on!. At the visit to the museum it was agreed that such a wonderful collection, which also captures land use change in our Biosphere over the last 30 years is definitely worthy of being digitised and made available for others to see. You can find out more about the SHAPE project in the latest SHAPE newsletter 


Special Visit to our Biosphere

In November we had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Enny Sudarmonowati Chair of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. International Cooperation Council. One of the roles of the council or ICC as it is known is to guide and supervise the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme.and to recommend research projects to countries and to make proposals on the organisation of regional or international cooperation. Professor Sudarmonowati was introduced to the work of our Biosphere by board members and visited Glentrool speaking to members of the Glentrool and Bargrennan Community Trust to hear about plans for the village and being a Biosphere Community.


Galloway Glens Biosphere Experience Project

The Galloway Glens Biosphere Experience project is now up and running  The aim of the project is to identify experiential tourism opportunities within the Galloway Glens area of the Biosphere and work with local businesses to develop and market packages.
The focus is on exploring the natural, cultural and artistic heritage of the Galloway Glens area by allowing visitors to take part in hands on experiences and activities. The project aim is in creating some themed packages allowing us to target visitors with specific interests such as nature, history, art, food etc. The rich tapestry of people, place and creativity within the Biosphere means that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to offering high quality experiences.

The project is being led by Southern Uplands Partnership and is one of many projects through The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme . For more information please contact the project officer Laura Davidson on 

Kirkcowan Primary sign up as Proud Supporters of the Biosphere

Board member Shalla Gray presented the Proud Supporter Charter Certificate to members of the Kirkcowan Primary Eco-Committee. Kirkcowan Primary have plans to develop an educational program for the school to follow to support and learn about the biosphere on their doorstep. Shalla has offered her support in helping the school to achieve this. We look forward to seeing how things progress.
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