The Galloway Glens Small Grants Scheme Makes Five More Awards!

This week saw five more awards being made through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme, supporting excellent projects up and down the Ken/Dee Valley that will ‘connect people to their heritage’ and really celebrate what makes Galloway special.

The Galloway Glens Scheme is an initiative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment team. Running between 2018 and 2023, it will see more than £5.1million spent over five years. Primarily funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the scheme is undertaking a series of headline projects that ‘connect people their heritage’, while boosting the local economy and supporting sustainable communities. In addition to the headline scheme of projects, a discrete Small Grants Scheme is in place, making awards of up to £5,000 towards local projects that align with scheme ambitions.

This week sees the outcome of the latest funding round, with five awards made. The Galloway Glens Team will be working with the project partners to deliver the proposed work between now and 2023.

Awards made through the fifth round of funding are:

  • OOR Ain Wullie, A celebration of the life and work of William Neill. Poet, teacher and Crossmichael resident. One of only a handful of writers to write in the three languages of Scotland; English, Scots and Gaelic, as well as Irish Gaelic. He is widely acknowledged in literary circles as one of key players in the New Scottish Literary Renaissance. He is buried in Crossmichael, the centenary of his birth occurs during February 2022. This project will, through events and a range of activities, raise the profile of one of our underappreciated literary heroes. (Award = £4,000).
  • And Then Come the Nightjars – This is an award-winning play about the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001. Wonder Fools will stage a professional theatre production in the area, one of the hardest hit areas of the epidemic, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of crisis to increase understanding and allow audiences and participants a way of reflecting on how we can recover from this current pandemic. (Award = £5,000)
  • Galloway Glens Pine Martens – Working with the newly established D&G Pine Marten Group, this project will support the expansion of the Pine Marten’s local core range in the Galloway Forest Park into adjacent areas in the Water of Ken and River Dee catchments. There is a scarcity of natural tree cavities for martens to use as dens in the predominant conifer plantations of the Galloway Glens. Den boxes of tried and tested designs will be provided to alleviate this ecological constraint. Monitoring of box use and attendance at feeding hoppers will allow the measurement of subsequent changes in marten distribution and activity. Recent research in Scotland and elsewhere has demonstrated that recovering marten populations suppress grey squirrels and importantly, are associated with healthy red squirrel populations, so improving the status of the marten should help the red squirrel to thrive. (Award = £5,000)
  • Ken Bridge Stories – Celebrating Bicentenary – 2022 marks 200 years since the completion of the Ken Bridge. This historic landmark was designed by esteemed engineer John Rennie who did not live to see its completion. The Ken Bridge has served as a vital transport link, connecting the communities of New Galloway, Balmaclellan, and Dalry across the water of Ken ever since. The Loch Ken Trust working with the Glenkens Community Arts Trust, Glenkens Stories and Ken Words seek to mark this bi-centenary and the year of Scotland’s Stories, through a year-round programme of events ‘The Ken Bridge Stories’. (Award = £5,000)
  • Native Crab Apples of the Galloway Glens – Crab apples are one of the few truly native trees of Scotland. Preliminary scoping research using DNA analysis of leaves suggest that a high proportion the crab apples within the Galloway Glens catchment are indigenous and have not cross bred with domestic trees. Using ‘Citizen Science’, this South West Community Woodlands Trust project will collect more leaf samples and conduct more DNA testing, creating a map showing the locations, and distribution pattern of all crab apples in the catchment area pin pointing the indigenous ones. The project will explore the hypothesis that perhaps the trees with more spikes and very sour fruit are the oldest varieties? Also exploring the various possible modes of distribution- man, bird, beast, all three? Ultimately, the project will create a crab apple tree nursery for native rootstock and new trees for planting in the new diverse, native woodlands being created in the local area. (Award: £5,000)


The Galloway Glens Scheme is supported by a range of partners from the public and private sectors, primarily funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“We are delighted to see small grants being distributed around the area to help people connect to their heritage. The National Lottery Heritage Fund recognise connection to heritage is so important in making people feel part of their local area and knowing how they belong.
“Thanks to funds raised by National Lottery players, we can help Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme to make that connection for the people of Dumfries & Galloway. It is so good to see such a diversity in the range of the projects being supported.”


The Small Grants Scheme is administered by the Galloway Glens Administrator, Anna Harvey. Anna said:

This was the fifth round of the Small Grant Scheme, and we had a really good response from local community groups and organisations. The applications varied and covered different subjects from nature preservation and restoration projects to celebrating local cultural heritage. I am delighted for the 5 successful applicants, and I am looking forward to working with them and helping to deliver the projects.”

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