Wood Of Keyr Regeneration Project Launched

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As winter comes on, an ambitious project to regenerate a Dumfriesshire ancient oak woodland is getting underway. Keyr Wood in Mid Nithsdale is centuries old. Known originally as the “Wood of Keyr”, it was once around 5,000 acres in size, and was mapped in the Blaeu Atlas of Scotland in the 1650s.

Much of the wood has been lost over the years. Now only a few patches of woodland and isolated trees remain, and the first phase of the plan is to plant 400 new trees. More than fifteen local landowners have come together to support the scheme. Keir Community Council and the wider local community are also backing the project.

The plantings are part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project and will commemorate the seventy-year reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II. On 29th November, the first oak tree will be planted at Penfillan farm near Keir Mill by Fiona Armstrong, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries. Fiona said:
” Our native woodlands are so precious, and the plan to restore Keyr Wood is a bold and impressive one. Our late Queen loved trees. During her lifetime she planted more than fifteen hundred. This is a wonderful way to remember Her unstinting service to the nation.”
The Keyr Wood project was inspired by Robert Gladstone, a local landowner and farmer who said:
“I have always loved the remaining Oaks of Keyr Wood and I hope that these 400 little trees will be magnificent long after I am gone.”

The regeneration of ancient woodland and new woodland tree planting schemes are an integral part of efforts to reduce humanities carbon footprint and tackle global warming.

Jonathan Barrett Galloway Glens Land Management and Access Officer said

“The Keyr Wood project provides an excellent opportunity to support the regeneration of a well-documented ancient Oak woodland for the benefit of future generations. The wide support within the local community demonstrates how a locally delivered and creatively funded project can deliver a significant boost to local biodiversity.”