Newsletter – September 2016

Explore the big Biosphere ideas in this edition of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere news!
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The UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is an accolade for south west Scotland so it is really encouraging to see more and more tourism businesses showing their aspiration to be proud supporters of the Biosphere.  As more businesses sign up and agree to the six principles of the Biosphere Charter the greater the opportunity for this designation to be recognised more widely by people locally, nationally and internationally and the greater the benefit to us all.  This designation is associated with special places, the best environments and quality local products so I look forward to seeing the Biosphere brand being widely adopted and promoted in south west Scotland and in time becoming familiar to visitors and locals alike.

A welcome new initiative is the development of the recently published ‘Explore the Biosphere’ leaflets.  There is no one place that demonstrates how the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere designation works - the Biosphere is as much about a way of living as a place to visit.  However, these self-guided routes provide a guide to help you explore the area, not just to discover nature and landscapes, but also to discover communities and initiatives that support the Biosphere ideas of conservation, learning and development. Taken together the new itineraries illustrate how the Biosphere designation is an accolade that is relevant to all of us.

Annique Armstrong
VisitScotland Regional Director

Busy with Business week

Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire will be holding their Business Weeks from the 3rd to 7th October to support business growth in the region. The Biosphere will be supporting both weeks with Great Stories to Tell - A Creative Arts business Share and Learn Event taking place on the afternoon of 6th October and Reach for the Stars! - Business Opportunities from the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park in the evening. The Events are free.
For more information contact
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere will also have a stand at The Ayrshire on Show exhibition from 10am on Tuesday 4th October at Rugby Park, and the Food, Drink Hospitality and Tourism skills seminar from 2pm at Park Hotel in Kilmarnock. For more details on Business Week look at Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce or Business Gateway

The Biosphere has just produced its third film, Loch Doon - A Business learning journey that took place in June 2016. The film captures how businesses in the Biosphere are making connections and sharing how their business supports the sustainable principles of the Biosphere. The evening involved an Osprey Viewing experience and a visit to Ness Glen under the guidance of freelance ecologist Rory Whytock. Take a look at the Biosphere films.

Biosphere out and about

We were treated to lovely weather at the Stewartry Agricultural show on 4th August, encouraging a great turn out. Sharing a marquee with the Galloway Glens project, the Biosphere Natural Heritage team had plenty of interested visitors keen to learn more about the Biosphere and tell us about the wildlife they had seen in and around the area.
We were pleased that there were a number of new sign ups to the Biosphere Charter. Children were eager to make wooden medallions under the supervision of Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Tom Henry. MSP’s Emma Harper and Finlay Carson showed their support for and interest in the progress of the UNESCO Biosphere and we were able to tell them about various projects being undertaken.

The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme attracted a great deal of attention during the show and we look forward to working with the initiative in the future.

Business in the Biosphere

Over the last couple of months we have welcomed new charter supporters from across the business sectors within the Biosphere; all different but all having in common their desire to work in ways that support the six principles of the Biosphere.
Our new proud supporters show a wealth of creative talent with Shabby Shed Furniture, Gallery Sia Tri, Mossy Yard Farm Pottery, Scottish Art Scapes, The Butterfly and Toadstool and Gina Lilly Crop Designs signing-up to the charter, along with Upland, an arts organisation that support the professional and creative development of micro-businesses.
It’s also great to see a construction company becoming a supporter. GS Construction in Borgue is a local building company that is careful to source and use local and sustainable products, as well as supporting local businesses.
South West Scotland is well known as a tourism destination so Visit South West Scotland, Borgue Hotel, The Break Pad and Kirroughtree and Glentrool Cafés will all be great advocates for the special place that makes the Biosphere.
Find out more about the Charter here.

Glentrool Day of the Region

The Biosphere was pleased to help make connections by taking an active part of the 2016 day of the Region event in the first weekend of September at Glentrool Village. Activities included spinning demonstrations, natural weaving workshops, star and sun gazing as well as an exhibition of local history with the help of Newton Stewart Museum. This Dumfries and Galloway LEADER programme is about local people capturing the very essence of life by celebrating what is special about their rural community and supports our Sense of Place approach to encourage activities that inspire a positive future in the Biosphere.
Endorse your event with a Biosphere display panel
The Biosphere now has a series of ‘pull-up’ display panels available for events across the Biosphere. If you have an event coming up and would like to use one of the displays to help endorse your event as supporting the Biosphere principles, please get in touch with one of the team. They are available for use by Proud Supporters (businesses signed up to the Biosphere Charter) and will be supplied with a batch of Biosphere leaflets for distribution.
For more information contact 
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