Kirkcudbright’s Barhill Community Woodlands – Project Launch Event

On Friday 22nd March, more than 30 people braved the rather wet and windy Galloway weather to celebrate the launch of the Barhill Community Woodland project.

The project, led and undertaken by Kirkcudbright Development Trust, consists of:

1)      A new education shelter which already has a variety of uses by school and community groups

2)      A wildlife hide which has proved exceptionally popular with residents and visitors, providing a great opportunity to see red squirrels up close

3)      A network of paths in a figure of eight formation, popular with walkers, runners and range of other groups.

The project received nearly £30,000 from the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, with match funding from other sources including D&G LEADER.

Friday’s launch event included words from Rob Asbridge from Kirkcudbright Development Trust who has led on the project and has seen the popularity of the facilities. Also speaking were McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team Leader, and Lyndy Renwick, speaking on behalf of the Galloway Glens Partnership Board. The Red Squirrel Hide was staffed by Dr Stephanie Johnstone from the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrel’s project.

After the event, McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team Leader, said:

“The new facilities have been amazingly popular, with the red squirrel hide almost in constant use. The Galloway Glens Scheme is supporting projects up and down the Ken/Dee valley, including nearby the proposed Dark Sky Visitor Centre and the refit of the first floor of the Tolbooth centre, both also in Kirkcudbright.

This project proposal came from our call for project ideas during our development phase and is an excellent example of a locally-driven project. The principle of a Landscape Partnership is that by undertaking a range of projects in a co-ordinated and concentrated manner, the results end up being greater than simply the ‘sum of parts’. We are aiming to connect people with their heritage and support the local economy and sustainable local communities. This is one of the first of our 35 projects to have completed.

Our thanks as always go to our funders, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the support we have received from Dumfries & Galloway Council and the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere”

Chairman of the Galloway Glens Partnership Board, Ted Leeming, added:

“The Galloway Glens Scheme is delighted to have been able to support Kirkcudbright Development Trust to provide this great resource in Barhill Woods. This is an example of the amazing natural heritage of Galloway driving economic development. All credit goes to our project partners at Kirkcudbright Development Trust, and thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund who have supported the Galloway Glens so generously.”