£100,000 Rejuvenation of visitor facilities on Raiders’ Road and at Clatteringshaws

Work is now underway to completely rejuvenate the Otter Pool picnic area on the Raiders’ Road and install a new chemical waste disposal point at Clatteringshaws, both high profile visitor destinations in the Galloway Forest Park with an enviable position in the Dark Sky Park and near the core of the UNESCO Biosphere.

The Raiders’ Road forest drive was immortalised in literature by S.R.Crockett in his book ‘The Raiders’, a story of cattle rustling and border intrigue. Today it is a 10-mile scenic driving route running through one of the most remote sections of the Galloway Forest Park, attracting more than 30,000 visitors a year. The highlight of the route is the ‘Otter Pool’ site, where the River Dee widens and shallows, and is a magnet for visitors through the summer months.

The Otter Pool rejuvenation work will see the complete refurbishment of the toilet block at the site, which has been struggling with visitor demand in recent years. The project will also lay a new path around the site, with new picnic tables also being installed. As an excellent example of local recycling and re-use, the used timber from the toilet block has been well received by the Glenkens Men’s Shed in Balmaclellan.

Clatteringshaws Chem waste disposal

At the same time, a chemical waste disposal point is being installed in Clatteringshaws Car park. This is to address the increasing problem caused by the emptying of motorhome toilet waste tanks in the Galloway Forest Park, with all of the environmental and anti-social problems this causes.

The project, costing more than £100,000 in total, is being funded by the Galloway Glens Scheme, using funds from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, by Forestry & Land Scotland and with a grant of £58,000 from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Work got underway in January and will be completed by April 2020.

Tim Oliver, Visitor Services Manager for Forestry & Land Scotland, said:

The project improvements have come as a result of the strong partnership between Galloway Glens and Forestry and Land Scotland, accessing Rural Tourism Infrastructure Funds to make significant improvements to the visitor offer in Galloway Forest Park.  The area has an important tourism role within South of Scotland and both Otter Pool and Clatteringshaws feature in VisitScotland’s current ‘See South Scotland’ campaign.  We look forward to working together with Galloway Glens on other exciting projects in the future.

Ted Leeming, Chairman of the Galloway Glens Scheme, said:

I am delighted to see work underway on the refurbished toilets at the Otter Pool and the new Chemical Waste disposal point at Clatteringshaws. These prime locations inside the Galloway Forest Park, the Dark Sky park and the UNESCO Biosphere will offer an improved experience for visitors and locals alike. This project is a genuine partnership between the Galloway Glens Scheme and Forestry & Land Scotland. Many thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their support.

The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund is administered by Visit Scotland. VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward said:

“It is great to see that work has started on these sites within the popular Galloway Forest Park. The breath-taking scenery and natural landscapes across Scotland are a huge draw for visitors coming to explore Dumfries & Galloway and this investment from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) will help improve the services and facilities for visitors.

“Ensuring the country’s tourism industry remains sustainable requires a sensitive touch and VisitScotland is committed to working in partnership with the government, businesses and communities so that Scotland remains a must-visit destination for future generations of holidaymakers.”