The new route, referred to as the ‘New Galloway Link Path’, means pedestrians will have off-road access from New Galloway Golf Club Woods to the Forest Park’s network of paths.
Walkers currently have to negotiate the A762, with limited visibility and fast traffic. The new section of path, running from the Cairn Edward forest road at Strachan to the existing network of paths in the New Galloway Golf Club woods, allows users to avoid the road. The route boasts marvellous views over Loch Ken and into Galloway Forest Park.
The need for the project was identified by the local community, particularly Gerry Cinderby and the Local Initiative in New Galloway (LiNG) volunteers. Over recent years, the idea has been worked up into a detailed proposal by the Galloway Glens Scheme, with the backing of the Council’s Environment Team. Now, with the generous support of the Kenmure Estate landowner and the assistance of the Dumfries & Galloway Outdoor Access Trust, plans are afoot to establish the new route in Spring 2021.
The project will cost more than £30,000 in total. This is being funded by the Galloway Glens Scheme’s National Lottery Heritage Funding, matched to contributions from the Council’s Environment Team, the Dumfries & Galloway Region Wide Community Fund and a contribution from LiNG. Final fundraising for the route is now underway.
The path route will complete a missing path link between New Galloway and the path network in the Forest Park to the South. The work undertaken will include creation of new lengths of path, upgrade of existing paths, and a new footbridge over Knocknairling Burn.
Gerry Cinderby, New Galloway Resident and LiNG volunteer, who identified the opportunity for the project initially, said:
“This path will be of great benefit to local walkers and to visitors. It will give safe access to areas of old woodland as well the network of paths in the Forest Park and could form part of an ambition to develop a long-distance path from Carsphairn to Kirkcudbright. Our grateful thanks to all the funders of this project and to the landowner who generously supported this idea”.
Jonathan Barrett, the Galloway Glens Land Management & Access Officer leading on project delivery, said:
“The New Galloway Link path completes an important missing link in the path network allowing visitors and residents in New Galloway to safely access the forest paths to the south without having to walk along the busy A762. We are so grateful for the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with support from partners including the Council’s Environment Team and the UNESCO Biosphere.”
Peter Ross, Chairman of the Dumfries & Galloway Outdoor Access Trust, supporting the work, said:
I am delighted to see this path being constructed at the instigation of local community activists. Outdoor activity provides many individual and community benefits. Dumfries & Galloway Outdoor Access Trust is pleased to have helped in this shared endeavour to provide the community of New Galloway somewhere peaceful to enjoy their surrounding countryside.
Ed Forrest, Co-Ordinator of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, and a member of the Galloway Glens Partnership Board, added:
“It’s fantastic to this new link path come to fruition providing local people with direct access to Galloway Forest Park which is really important element of our UNESCO Biosphere”
Further applications for match funding are currently underway, but it is planned that the improvements will be delivered in March 2021.
Any queries or comments on the project are welcomed to Jonathan.email@example.com.