Blackpark to Threave footpath improvement work getting underway

Over the last couple of years, the Galloway Glens Scheme has been working closely with the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) to make improvements to this popular walking route connecting Castle Douglas to the NTS Threave Estate, allowing wheelchair access from the town itself onto the Threave estate, with a new ramp and spur to Kelton Mains and a new, off road path to Bridge of Dee.

The development of this project was picked up in 2016, building on a long-term campaign that had been underway locally by the community and the Castle Douglas Development Forum, led by local historian and community activist Alistair Livingston who had been seeking these improvements for a number of years.


Funding for the project has now been secured and the appointed contractors get underway on the improvement work in coming weeks, with completion before Christmas. This development marks a new collaboration between D&G Council and a private landowner, with a shared ambition to maintain this core path for the benefit of our community and our visitors.

Castle Douglas in the distance

Funding for the project has been sourced from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Winnifred Kennedy Trust, LandTrust, South West Environmental Action Trust (SWEAT) and the Scottish Natural Heritage administered ‘Improving Public Access’ scheme. This has been supported by NTS D&G Conservation Volunteers who have already been working on clearing the route of the new path towards Bridge of Dee.


NTS D&G Volunteers preparing the route

Jonathan Barrett, Galloway Glens Land Management & Access Officer, leading on the project delivery, said:

“It is great that this project is now getting underway. There might be some access restrictions while improvements are being made but it will be well signposted and the benefits from this work will be with us for many years to come, really improving the link between Castle Douglas, Threave Estate and the wider area.  The new link path from Lodge of Kelton to Bridge of Dee will allow walkers to access circular walks around the Threave estate without facing the hazard of crossing the A75.  NTS support for the project has been vital, with ground preparation and support already undertaken by volunteers and staff. We cannot wait to launch the new, improved route in the new year!”


Dr Sam Gallacher, Operations Manager for National Trust for Scotland in Dumfries & Galloway, said:

“Threave is an intrinsic part of Castle Douglas’s history and future. The garden and castle bring thousands of visitors to our town every year, while the nature reserve is of national significance and ecological value. This path upgrade allows us to reinforce the vital connection between town and country, between the National Trust for Scotland and the communities of Castle Douglas and Bridge of Dee, between visitors of all ages and abilities, to enjoy together the beauty and diversity of Threave Estate. This access project also supports our wider ambitions for the development of Kelton Mains Farm / Threave Nature Reserve as a fully restored natural landscape, a significant capital project only possible thanks to the support of the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership. We hope the community and our visitors will enjoy the legacy of this and other projects realised during this exciting period of local investment, development and partnership.”

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