This week sees the start of one of the most ambitious habitat restoration projects that South West Scotland has ever seen. The National Trust for Scotland and the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership are working together to create a species-rich restored natural landscape at Threave Estate’s Kelton Mains Farm, near Castle Douglas.
The first phase of the project is being delivered by local environmental consultants Connicks who will pull together the management plans for the creation of a matrix of habitats at one of southwest Scotland’s most visited attractions. As well as providing the space for nature to thrive, Threave Landscape Restoration Project will open networks of paths and nature observation spaces so that people from across our community and visitors from further afield can freely access and enjoy the progress of this unique area of natural habitat for years to come.
The project will cost more than a quarter of a million pounds in total – funded by the National Trust of Scotland and more than £97,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.
Dr Samuel Gallacher, Operations Manager, Dumfries & Galloway, National Trust for Scotland
This is a wonderful partnership project with a clear vision and pertinent long-term legacy: that Threave will become a fully restored woodland-wetland ecosystem, self-sustaining and self-adapting to Scotland’s changing climate. The restored landscape at Kelton Mains Farm will support the evolution of existing habitats and support the regeneration and creation of new habitats adapted to changing climactic conditions and maximise biodiversity. Through this experience, Threave will become an established centre of excellence in landscape restoration and improving biodiversity, providing visitors, partners and the Trust with best practice methods and approaches.
Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens Project Officer, said:
This project at Kelton Mains Farm has been talked about for many years and at Galloway Glens we are delighted to be in a position to help this happen. National Trust for Scotland has identified significant financial resources that we are able to match with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This is one of our largest projects to date and we really like the ambition of this proposal as the legacy will be generational.
Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added:
“Never before has the need to aid nature’s recovery been more urgent which is why we are committed to supporting projects which explore and test new ways of doing things. This partnership project has immense potential, not only for the future of the local landscape and species but in the learnings that Threave will share to help care for our natural heritage across the country.”
Huw Connick, of Connicks, said
It’s not very often that you see such ambition and vision for land use change. This is a bold and encouraging project that will no doubt create interest and curiosity from many. We are very humbled that NTS and Galloway Glens have asked Connicks to be part of their team on this stage of their project at Kelton Mains.
Ted Leeming, Chairman of the Galloway Glens Scheme, added:
This project will launch Threave Estate onto the national stage, both as a visitor destination but also an exemplar of how a landscape can be managed to provide multiple benefits for an area, with improved habitat and species condition. WWF advise that since 1970 we have lost 53% of the earth’s bird, mammal, fish, reptile and amphibian populations. The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher that natural background rates. This project will act as an exemplar of how these issues can be addressed and will really put Galloway on the map.