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13th March 2024

Pinwherry and Pinmore celebrate their UNESCO region by joining the Biosphere Communities scheme

The South Ayrshire hamlets of Pinwherry and Pinmore have got together to become part of the GSA Biosphere’s leading sustainable development initiative, the Biosphere Communities scheme.

Celebrating local heritage and low carbon living, there are now eleven designated Biosphere Communities across the UNESCO region. In South Ayrshire, Pinwherry and Pinmore join Barrhill, Ballantrae and Colmonell, with other villages and towns in East Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. Founded on participation and collaboration, the initiative brings local learning opportunities that explore nature connections, energy saving and waste reduction.

Through the scheme, community groups are also supported to develop their tourism offer which builds on worldwide interest in immersive experiences and ‘living local’. The GSA Biosphere has attracted extensive press attention in recent months having been featured by National Geographic Traveller, Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Wanderlust magazine, all of which acclaim the UNESCO region for meaningful travel. The GSA Biosphere Partnership, a Registered Scottish Charity, works with national tourism partners to showcase independent leisure and hospitality providers, the most low-carbon and nature-friendly of which are awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark in recognition of their outstanding work towards global Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the new Biosphere Community status, local resident David Hall said, “Pinwherry and Pinmore has a current population of approximately 300 and is situated about three and a half miles south of Girvan along the A714. The tiny village of Pinwherry is the largest settlement. Pinmore is smaller, a clachan surrounding its green. Scattered farms and dwellings add to the picturesque rural mix of fields and woodlands, streams, burns and rivers, hills and valleys, sheep and cattle and a single-track railway which somehow evaded Dr.Beeching’s axe all those years ago.

“The UNESCO Biosphere status which covers Pinwherry and Pinmore puts rural communities on the map. It’s important for the preservation of local networks and social connections to celebrate everything that makes our communities proud and strong. Our little hamlets have a wealth of opportunities for healthy living and outdoor pursuits and we take great pride in our heritage. Becoming a Biosphere Community has been an enjoyable process for residents and we are particularly looking forward to working with Biosphere officers on sustainable living projects and other ideas to help Pinwherry and Pinmore grow and thrive.”

Jenna Cains, the Biosphere’s Community & Education lead, said, “We’re very pleased indeed to have this close relationship with the community in Pinwherry and Pinmore. Local collaborations are essential to the work of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership and will continue to be an imperative for the economic and social wellbeing of our rural villages and towns. We have some really exciting initiatives underway across South Ayrshire in 2024, ranging from Biosphere Footsteps workshops to tree-planting grants and Green Health in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, the Ranger service, and NHS Ayrshire & Arran. The expansion of the Biosphere Communities scheme builds on this energy and, as always, any other community councils or development trusts that would like to discuss joining are warmly invited to get in touch.”

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership is supported by funders including South of Scotland Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council. It works across more than 9,700km² of Scotland’s southwest, leading multi-sector partnerships to deliver projects in conservation, education, sustainable development and climate resilience.

More information on the Biosphere Communities scheme is available by email request to

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