Emma Harper MSP is supporting a local constituent’s proposals to make a recognised paddle sport trail through canals and rivers in the Castle Douglas area.


Alex Lumsden, keen kayaker and Outdoor Activity Officer for Dumfries & Galloway Council, believes such a route would bring more tourists to the area and encourage more local people to take up water based activities.


This week Mr Lumsden and the South Scotland MSP paddled in kayaks along the proposed route which included the banks around the picturesque Threave Castle.


Mr Lumsden said:


We’re trying to open a paddle sports trail in the area which would be for all ability levels and types of paddle sports – including kayaking, canoeing, sit on tops and stand up paddle boarding.
“The trail can be done in different direction meaning you can make the most of bad weather by tailoring your trip to your needs. The routes possible in the Galloway Glen lend themselves well to groups of all ages and abilities, so that everyone can enjoy the water.
“Going forward it’s about establishing clear and safe access points to the water for all users. To realise the full potential of this project we would then be looking to work with the Hydro Scheme to maximise the usage of white water we have on these controlled rivers. This would gives us a genuine venue to develop an all ability trail like what we have seen with the success of the 7 Stanes bike trail.
“I think the potential for this is fantastic and would let lots of people – especially families – from other regions in the UK to camp nearby or stay in a B&B, and go biking, go hiking, go paddling – all fun, family-orientated outdoor adventures happening in the same region.
“It was great to have Emma along to help us promote what we have here in Galloway and I thank her for supporting what we plan to do. She has been very supportive.”

Emma Harper MSP added:


This is the second time I’ve been out paddling on the River Dee with Alex and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Anything we can do to bring more tourists to Dumfries & Galloway I am 100% supportive of, and getting people outside and active enjoying our beautiful Galloway countryside is really important to me.
“We are ideally placed in south west Scotland to market ourselves to those in the Central Belt and folk in northern England – both only a relatively short car journey away – to come and enjoy what we have to offer here for families in Galloway.
“We are a part of Scotland that can become an international hotspot for adventure tourism.”