Muirdrochwood Forest, near Carsphairn, hosts a rather smart octagonal wildlife hide that is an excellent opportunity to spot a whole range of Galloway wildlife. To celebrate its installation, a range of partners are running a ‘Autumn Wildlife Bonanza’ of free expert-led public events, lifting the lid on what you can see from the hide!
The Bonanza is being organised in partnership between the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the Galloway Glens Scheme and the owners of the site, Carsphairn Community Woodland. The programme consists of 3 public events (book your tickets through links below or by searching www.eventbrite.co.uk for ‘Galloway Glens’) and a school visit.
- Wednesday 31st August 9:30pm-11:00pm – Darkness and Stars
Galloway was the first ‘Dark Sky Park’ designated in the UK. Star expert and Freelance Ranger Elizabeth Tindal will guide us through some stars and constellations, talking about science and stories! Format: public event, book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darkness-and-stars-tickets-384189189207.
- 2nd September 9.30am-2.30pm – Welcome to your Forest
Children from Dalry & Kells Primary Schools will take part in a range of activities, linked to ecology, biodiversity and science as well as meeting a cryptozoologist/storyteller, introducing the community woodland and fostering a sense of curiosity and love of the natural world. Format: Schools will visit the site, not a public event.
- Wednesday 7th September 6-7:30pm – Life as a Squirrel or Pine Marten
Glenkens Red Squirrel Group and Dumfries & Galloway Pine Martin Group will share their knowledge of Red Squirrels and Pine Martins on the Muirdrochwood Forest site. Hear about their habitat, life and behaviour. Format: public event, book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/life-as-a-squirrel-or-pine-marten-tickets-384196400777.
- Wednesday 14th September 6-7:30pm – what is the difference between fungi and mushrooms, and what can you eat? Join the South West Scotland Environmental Information Centre’s (SWSEIC) Peter Norman to find out more about the diversity of Fungi. Format: public event, book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/what-is-the-difference-between-fungi-and-mushrooms-and-what-can-you-eat-tickets-384207634377.
Looking ahead at the events planned, David McMillan, Chair of Carsphairn Community Woodland, said:
“We are delighted to be hosting this series of events from our new hide and look forward to welcoming visitors to discover what is in and around our community woodland”
Jenna Cains, Community & Education Lead from the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, said:
“The new wildlife hide in Muirdrochwood is absolutely beautiful, a genuine hand crafted piece of art, and will make a wonderful place from which to explore the woodlands and beyond.”
Jan Hogarth, Galloway Glens Education & Community Engagement Officer added:
“We are delighted to be working with Carsphairn Community Woodland and the Biosphere on an exciting and diverse programme of activities designed to help people connect with the nature here and learn about the wildlife and biodiversity that lives in this community owned forest. Carsphairn Community Woodland is an innovative and forward thinking community driven initiative which is beginning to grow into an important learning environment for adults and children. A new Wildlife Hide has been installed which is beautifully crafted and designed from local wood and ready to be used to get further insight into the goings on in the forest. It is well worth a visit.”
This hide was created using funds from Carsphairn Community Woodland (CCW) and the Galloway Glens Scheme, supported by partners including the Glenkens Red Squirrel Group and the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.
Full details are provided on the event booking pages. Anyone planning a visit outside these ticketed events: The Muirdrochwood car park is on the B729 towards Carsphairn from the High Bridge junction (postcode: DG7 3TE), The ‘what three words’ location for the site is remit.breed.chestnuts.
For more information about the hide and the wider Muirdrochwood Forest site, follow ‘Carsphairn Community Woodland’ on facebook or website (www.carsphairn/CCWL). If you would like to join CCW as a member (if you live in Carsphairn Community Council area) or as a supporter (if you live further afield), details are on the website or contact them at: email@example.com.
The Galloway Glens Scheme seeks to ‘connect people to their heritage’ while boosting the local economy and supporting sustainable communities. It is an initiative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team, primarily funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by a whole range of partners including the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.