Saturday, 10 December 2011

Santa's Grotto at Kirroughtree VC

Here are a couple of photos taken at our Santa's Grotto and Real Christmas Trees Sales event today at Kirroughtree visitor centre.

Don't worry if you didn't manage to make it along, Santa will be there again tomorrow between 10.30am and 4pm.

And dont forget, as usual we also have a great selection of Real Christmas trees to buy too!


ps thank you to the Newton Stewart Singers for the wonderful carols they sang at Kirroughtree again this year.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Autumn colour update

The Autumn colour across the park is now in full swing. The beeches have turned that lovely fiery orange and the oaks are close behind.

My favourite place in the Galloway Forest Park to enjoy Autumn colour is in Glentrool. From the minute you turn off the road from the village you are greeted by gorgeous beech trees. Head past the visitor centre and along to Bruce's Stone where you get to look down on the warm glow of the oaks along the Buchan.

But don't take my word for it, the next spare morning or afternoon you get head there yourself and enjoy the annual display. Just don't leave it too long because once the leaves have dropped your chance has gone for another 12 months!

hum... now where did I leave my tripod......!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Autumn leaves

Some trees are really starting to stand out from the crowd. Horse Chestnuts, Sycamores, Birch and Larch are putting in a good display.

So if you're out and about exploring the Galloway Forest Park this weekend then be sure to remember your camera!

Have a great weekend


ps only a few spaces left on the Autumn Colours Photography event at Glentrool (27th October 1.30pm - 4pm) Booking essential 01671 402 420. Charges apply.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wild Autumn

Photo copyright LJHadley

Autumn is upon us and I for one am very excited. Not only is it time for spotting migratory birds such as red wings, field fares and wax wings but also we become surrounded by stunning Autumn colour and light.

There are also heaps of wildlife events happening across the region from the 15th to 30th October as part of Wild Autumn. Art exhibitions, small mammal safaris, deer range tours to mention a few. Visit the Wild Autumn website for full event listings.

As part of Wild Autumn we have some great events lined up too including 'Autumn Colours Photography' being led by our Ranger and photography enthusiast Lucy as well as extra 'Red Deer Range' tours. Details of these events can be found on our website

So Wrap up warm and watch Autumn happen right here!

Until next time, Yogi

Monday, 15 August 2011

New Deer Hide

The next time you visit the Galloway Forest Park check out our new Red Deer Range hide. It's not brand new we have recycled it from an old storage shed we had at Glentrool that wasn't needed for storage anymore. We couldn't bring ourselves to demolish the shed because although it's been a storage shed for years it was still a really good shed.

So we moved it up to the deer range, put windows in it, some chairs and now we have a hide that can be used to watch the deer whilst sheltering from the rain! Recycling at its best!

We are currently busy writing up some information about the stags that will be displayed in the hide to help you spot the different characters we have in the Deer Range.

So next time you're in the area pop in and say hello, we would love to know what you think of our new hide.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Going Wild this Autumn!

Dumfries and Galloway is a great place to enjoy wildlife at any time of the year, better still there are heaps of events planned to help you get closer to some of the amazing wildlife that lives here.

Want a taster of what wildlife to expect to see this Autumn in Dumfries and Galloway? Check out the Wild Autumn video featuring some of the highlights!


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Forest operations at Kirroughtree

From Friday 15th July there will be some forest operations taking place at Kirroughtree visitor centre. All trails are open but timber lorries will be using some of the forest roads in this area so please take care on these routes.

For more information visit our updates page or follow us on Twitter

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

10 at Kirroughtree

The 10 hour mountain bike event took place on Saturday at Kirroughtree visitor centre in the Galloway Forest Park and the weather couldn't have been better.

Here are a couple of pictures I got at the start of the race. Well done to all of the riders!


Home Tweet Home

Our Swallow chicks have now fledged! Four wee cuties, I was at the Glentrool visitor centre on Sunday and was fortunate to see them taking their first flying lessons!

This one (pictured above) started with a short flight from it's nest to a near by silver birch tree where it sat for ages. It was eventually persuaded to give flying another go by mum and dad who came flying passed with chirps of encouragement. It took to the air, did a couple of very small laps outside the centre and landed back in it's cosy nest.

I'm sure they will still be around the centre for a while so look out for them when you're next there.

Just leaves one question........ will the parent swallows try for another brood before they head back to Africa? We will just have to wait and see.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Poplar Hawk Moth

This moth visited our moth trap the other night. My school group the following morning at kirroughtree visitor centre really enjoyed seeing all of the different types of moths but I think it's safe to say this one was their favourite!


Friday, 24 June 2011

Deer Range Diaries

Deer Range tours have now started for the season at the Red Deer Range. The stags antlers are growing at an amazing rate and we are getting great sightings of some of the wee calves who were born early June and are VERY CUTE!

I've attached a couple of photos of one of last years calves but a picture is not as much fun as actually seeing these youngsters for yourself and a Deer Range tour is great for that.

There is a tour next Tuesday and Thursday 11am, then daily - Sundays to Thursdays (11am) from the 3rd July.

Visit our website for more information Galloway Forest Park Red Deer Range

Have a good weekend


Home Tweet Home

The swallows at Glentrool have babies!!!

We are not sure how many chicks there are or when they hatched, but we definitely saw a little beak that popped over the top of the nest when I was at the visitor centre today.

Barbara and Shona at the centre said that the parent birds have been back and forth a lot of late, probably with food for the little ones!

Still no pictures of swallows to post yet I'm afraid.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Home Tweet Home 2011

Our Swallows have returned to Glentrool visitor centre again this year and have been busily preparing their new home to raise a family. We would love to bring you live footage from the little camera outside streamed to the TV inside the centre, but guess where they have built their nest this year?!!

....That's right, on the little camera!! (we've decided that they have become camera shy!)

I will try and get a couple of photos of their new home and post them here shortly, along with progress of the growing family!


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Deer Range Diaries

Newly born Calf!

Yes you read it right, our first 2011 red deer calf has been born at the range. Both mum and calf are doing brilliantly. This is a very early arrival as the calves are not generally born until early June.

Which means our 3 native species in Galloway will be having, or about to be having, their calves too. Please bear this in mind if out exploring woods and hills and keep any dogs you may have with you close by. Being chased by dogs is highly stressful for any wild animal, especially if they are pregnant or with young.

I'll post some pictures of our new arrival when I can. In the first few days they are quite shy and hide in the grass a lot under the watchful eye of mum. But when they are a bit braver I'll see if I can get a photo!


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bluebell update

Whilst I was at Kirroughtree today, leading the Orienteering for Beginners event, I had a quick look at the bluebells and most of them are now in full flower and looking fabulous!

So if you're looking for a a nice woodland walk this weekend I can recommend Kirroughtree or Cally Woods in Gatehouse as a good place to start!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bluebells in the Galloway Forest Park

The Bluebells are early this year and whilst they haven't quite burst in to full flowers just yet they appear to be just days off. There is certainly a nice blue/purple haze going on in some areas of the park including Kirroughtree and Cally woods.

So this bank holiday weekend could be a great time to visit a woodland in the Galloway Forest Park to enjoy a bluebell walk!

Ill try and post a 'flowering' update towards the end of the week.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Galloway Dark Sky Park

Galloway forest dark sky park merchandise is now available to buy from our 3 visitor centres Clatteringshaws, Kirroughtree and Glentrool.

Whether it be a new mug for your morning coffee or a key ring to post to friends and family there is something for you. Pop in and have a look next time your passing.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Spring Photography at Glentrool

It was a great day yesterday to be exploring Glentrool. We met at the visitor centre and then headed to the Buchan and Glenhead, which were the two main areas we focused on for the afternoon. The Buchan is beautiful at any time of the year with it's mix of old trees and small rivers, snugly nestled into the surrounding hills.

The sunshine was a bit bright really for photography but the warm weather allowed us to soak up our surroundings and take time to focus on the smaller details found in the woodland.

Here are some photos I took during the afternoon.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Spring Photography in the Galloway Forest Park

There are only 4 spaces left on the Spring Colour Photography event this Wednesday (20th April) at Glentrool.

Join Lucy and Andrew, our photography enthusiasts, for an afternoon exploring Glentrool Oakwoods with you camera. It doesn't matter if you have a digital compact or SLR camera, everyone is welcome.

It's an exciting time of year as leaves are bursting from their buds and woodland plants are starting to flower. There are some great water features on this route too!

£15 per person which includes a cup of tea or coffee when we get back to the visitor centre.

Booking essential please call 01671 402 420 to book your place. but hurry... we are nearly fully booked!


Woodpeckers at Kirroughtree visitor centre

Children that came along to Kirroughtree visitor centre yesterday afternoon got a chance to make one of these great little wooden pencil holders to take home with them. They also got to make a funky wooden pendant too!

If you couldn't make it don't worry, we will be running the activity again on the 6th July between 2 and 3pm. It's a drop in session no booking required. £2 per child.

If you are at Kirroughtree before then keep an eye out for a real Greater Spotted Woodpecker. There is one that visits the peanut feeders near the visitor centre quite regularly.


Friday, 15 April 2011

Wild Goats in Galloway

One of the great things about a walk in the Galloway hills is the array of wildlife that lives here and is often seen by those with a keen eye. From visiting migrant birds in Spring to resident red deer, whatever the time of year there is always something to see.

This time of the year you may hear the call of young goats (known as kids) and their mothers, keeping track of one another as they explore the hillsides and lower wooded edges in the forest park.

If you are exploring the Galloway Hills and the Loch Trool area, and you have a dog or dogs with you, please remember that a Galloway wild goat might not to be far away. Please keep your dog/s under close control. Whilst your dog might not mean to cause harm, being chased is highly stressful for the goats at any time of the year especially now when the kids are so young.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Easter at Kirroughtree visitor centre

Join us on Sunday 24th April 11am - 3.30pm for trails, quizzes and games this Easter in the Galloway Forest Park.

Susi Sweat Pea will be running story telling sessions at set times during the day and don't forget to bring your decorated hard-boiled egg for the egg rolling competition at 3.15pm.

£3 per child

A full day of fun, see you there!


Monday, 11 April 2011

Great weekend weather

The weather over the weekend was great for our Bird Calls for Beginners event. We had a lovely walk at Kirroughtree accompanied by lots of singing birds. If you missed it there is another event planned for the 10th July at Glentrool visitor centre 2pm start. Booking is essential and the cost is £5 per person which includes a tea or coffee when you get back to the centre. Yogi

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bird Calls for Beginners

Ever wanted to know who it is you can hear singing in the trees? Join our Ranger for an informal walk at Kirroughtree listening and identifying the calls of the most common feathered residents as you go.

The walk will stay fairly close to the main centre of Kirroughtree so we can spend more time listening.

There is a cost of £5 per person which includes tea or coffee upon return to the visitor centre.

Booking is essential, please call 01671 402 420 to book your place.


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park - Podcast

Find out what constellations and planets are visible in the Forest Dark Sky Park night sky this month, and more importantly, how to find them! April's Podcast is now online and ready to listen to! Galloway Forest Park Podcasts Yogi

Monday, 28 March 2011

Kirroughtree visitor centre

Saturday's weather was glorious for the British Heart Foundation bike ride at Kirroughtree visitor centre.

Here are some riders ready to set off on the red trail.


Monday, 14 March 2011

International Year of Forests

2011 is International Year of Forests and if you haven't come across it yet then check out Forestry Commission Scotlands facebook page. A great way to keep up to date with what's happening in a Scottish woodland near you as part of the International festival. Check out the Forest Creatures video, it's fab!

Galloway Forest Park has a host of stuff going on so be sure to check out our events page too. Click here to visit our website.


Friday, 11 March 2011

Trails at Kirroughtree visitor centre

The Papy Ha and Red walking trails will be closed at Kirroughtree visitor centre on Sunday 20th March 2011. There is a mountain bike competition taking place all day at Kirroughtree.

Apolgies for any inconvenience this may cause to you plans.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Road closure at Kirroughtree

Apologies for the short notice but Kirroughtree visitor centre will not be accessible tomorrow. Essential works are being carried out that I'm afraid cant be avoided. This means the road from the crossroads onwards will not be open.

Apologies for any inconvenience this might cause.


Dark Sky Park event

Saturday 12th March

Glentrool Primary School

7pm Start

Astronomy Now's Website Editor Dr Emily Baldwin, talks us through the latest news around the universe!

Stargazing session afterwards, weather permitting. Please remember to wrap up warm.

Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Dark Sky Park podcast

The March programme is now online.

This podcast will help you identify what constellations and planets to look out for this month and how to find them in the night sky.


Friday, 25 February 2011

Kirroughtree car park closed

Please note that access to Kirroughtree visitor centre car park will not be available on Monday 28th March 2011.

We are currently having some essential work done at the visitor centre. During this work we are trying to avoid any distruption to the car park and trails but I'm afraid Monday's closure is unavoidable.

Thank you for your patience.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011


The snowdrops are out now and looking great in the Galloway Forest Park. A good place to see them is at Cally Woods in Gatehouse of Fleet, well worth a visit at anytime of the year for a nice woodland walk but especially now because of the beautiful snowdrop show.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Dark Sky Park

We enjoyed a really interesting talk last night given by Steve Owens the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park Development Officer at Glentrool, followed by some great stargazing afterwards. Even though the moon was out we still managed to see, Orion, Leo the Lion and Seven Sisters just before the cloud and snow came in!

The next Dark Sky Park event will again be at:
Glentrool Primary School
7pm on Saturday 12th March.
The latest news from around the universe with Dr Emily Baldwin.

We hope you can make.

Give our new Stargazing pod casts a go which are online now


Monday, 14 February 2011


Just a wee reminder about tonights Dark Sky Park event happening at Glentrool Primary School, starting at 7pm.

There will be a talk given by the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park Development Officer Steve Owens followed by stargazing if weather permits.

Please remember to wrap up very warm, wear sturdy footwear and bring a torch (with red filter or cellaphane over the light)

There is no cost to join in.

We hope to see you there!


Monday, 7 February 2011

Kirroughtree visitor centre

Site work at Kirroughtree visitor centre starts today to improve power supply to the centre. Access to trails and mountain bike routes from the car park is still possible at the moment. I'll keep you up to date with that as the kirroughtree forest road may need to be closed for short periods.

This work should take about 2 weeks.

Please adhere to all site safety signage. Please be aware that there will be trucks and diggers moving about on site.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Dark Sky Park

Stargazing Under dark Skies

Monday 14th February

talk by Steve Owens, Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park Development Officer.

7pm start, Glentrool School.

The talk will be followed by a stargazing session (weather permitting) Please remember to wrap up very warm.

For more information visit our website

Check out our monthly dark sky park podcast. Tips on planets and constellations to look out for each month. The February podcast is online now.


Wednesday, 26 January 2011


New for 2011, Galloway Forest Park podcasts.

Our first two are online now at then click on the podcast link!

We hope you enjoy them.


Thursday, 20 January 2011


Sorry, I got the details mixed up for the next stargazing event.

February's speaker is still yet to be confirmed.

Dr Emily Baldwin will be joining us on the 12th March not February.

As soon as I know who February's speaker is i'll let you know.

Apologies for the confusion,


Next Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park event

Please note that the next dark skies event at Glentrool Village School Hall will be on Saturday 12th of February and not the 14th.

Find out about the latest news from around the Universe" with Dr Emily Baldwin Astronomy Now's Website Editor. Dr Emily Baldwin presents a roundup of the latest news from around the Universe, including news from missions around the Sun and planets in our own Solar System to the host of newly discovered exoplanets in other solar systems, from asteroids to comets and from galaxies to black holes!

Weather permitting there will be an opportunity for stargazing afterwards.

For more information visit our website


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Events programme 2011

Galloway Forest Park events programme for 2011 is now live on our website. To know what's planned visit our website and click the 'what's on' tab on the left of the screen. Search for all events in Scotland and scroll down until you find ours.

Most of the events are listed here although there are a couple still to add, so it's worth looking again in a day or two.

I hope you can make it along to at least one of the many great events we have lined up again this year.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle

How many stars can you see where you live on a clear night? That's what CPRE and the Campaign for Dark Skies want your help with.

Between Monday 31st January - Sunday 6th February they would like you to count all the stars that you can see in a certain part of the sky.

Results of this survey will help determine where light pollution is spoiling the natural beauty of the night sky.

Here is the link to find out more information,


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Over the Moon!

Despite the bad weather last nights dark sky park event at Glentrool School went really well, thank you to all who battled through the rain to join us.

We had a great talk given by Dr Robert Massey's which was all about the moon and we enjoyed light refreshments provided by Glentrool community residents. The vegetarian haggis sausage rolls were yummy!

All in all a very enjoyable evening. The next Galloway Dark Sky Park event will be on the 14th February, Glentrool School Hall, 7pm start. Further details yet to be confirmed so please keep an eye on our website or this blog.

Enjoy your day

Monday, 10 January 2011


Dark Sky Park event tonight at Glentrool School hall, Glentrool. Talk starts at 7pm.

Hopefully the rain will clear and we will get to do some dark sky viewing tonight too!

Hope you can make it along!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Next Dark Sky Park event

Exploring the Moon: From Antiquity to the 21st Century.

Monday 10th January 2011

Glentrool School Hall, Glentrool Village

A talk by Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society. Stargazing session after talk weather permitting.

For more information on this visit our website and click on the link Dark Sky Park.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping you had a lovely relaxing festive break and we wish you all the very best for 2011.

Yogi and the rest of the Galloway Forest Park team!