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Galloway Ranger 2011

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The Galloway Ranger covers the wealth of things to see and do in and around the Galloway Forest Park as well as introducing readers to the history and the forest industry of the area.

Text of Galloway Ranger 2011

  • www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

    Whats Inside?Dark sky at night,stargazers delight

    The return of theOspreys

    Creating the Carrick Way

    The changing face offorestry

    & more ...

  • www.forestry.gov.uk/scotlandThe Galloway Ranger2

    Contents2 Welcome2 Glentrools new woodland

    fringe garden3 Hydro powered perfection4 Dazzling visitors4 Dark sky at night,

    stargazers delight5 Keeping the Dark Skies dark6 Maddening March Hares6 Events to look out for in 20117 The return of the Ospreys7 Go wild!8/9 Fishing and Horse Riding10/11 Forest Park map12 Creating the Carrick Way12 Making memories13 Walking in Galloway14 Trails ahead15 The changing face of forestry 16 Forest fun18 In focus: Queens Way19 Festivals, events and useful

    contact details20 Forest walking trails

    WelcomeWelcome to the 2011 Galloway Ranger, the freeannual newspaper of the Galloway Forest Park.

    What does the Galloway Forest Park meanto you and how will you enjoy it during2011? This year the Galloway Ranger talksto the people who have helped create and managethe Forest Park and those who help many thousandsof people every year enjoy all that it has to oer.

    We talk to a recently retired forester whodescribes how mechanisation transformed forestryand the lives of foresters, and indeed howtechnology is continuing to transform the industrytoday. We discover how the power of water wastamed and harnessed in the Galloway Hills. Wespeak to individuals and groups who are working

    with Forestry Commission Scotland to improveaccess through initiatives like the Carrick Way andGalloway Trail Riders. We meet individuals who arehelping people enjoy the natural bounty of theforest, including wild food forages and volunteersrecreating vanishing habitats. And our Rangers tellus what they nd inspiring in the Galloway ForestPark from shing to rewarding walks to starrystarry nights.

    The Galloway Forest Park is here to be enjoyed.We hope the articles in this newspaper will inspireyou to make 2011 the year you discover somethingnew to do in Britains largest visitor attraction.

    Glentrools newwoodland fringe garden Visitors to Glentrool can now discover analmost vanished Scottish habitat mountainwoodland as a project thats inspiring anew woodland fringe in the Galloway Forest Parktakes shape.

    Mountain woodland is the zone of dwarf treesand shrubs that links the forest to openmountaintops. Its a habitat that has almostvanished from Scotland along with much of thespecial wildlife that lived there. The Action forMountain Woodland project is involving the public in restoring this important habitat. In the GallowayForest Park volunteers have surveyed existingmountain woodland sites, mapped the native treesand shrubs on the Galloway hills and gathered seedand cuttings to grow new planting stock.

    The project has also cleared conifers from theuppermost part of the forest where the Merrick hill

    path emerges onto the anks of Benyellaray.Rowan, birch, aspen and downy willow have beenplanted to demonstrate the potential of treelinewoodland and a raised garden close to the GlentroolVisitor Centre has been built by volunteers fromCree Valley Community Woodlands Trust. This willmean visitors can experience a mountain woodlandhabitat in an accessible and informative way.

    Created from local rock and soils the raisedgarden has been planted with a range of mountainspecies including mountain herbs, woolly willow,downy willow, creeping willow, juniper, aspen andmossy saxifrage. New interpretation boards are inplace to inform visitors about this montane scrubenvironment. Next time you visit Glentrool spendsome time nding out about this important,threatened and very interesting habitat which iswell worth conserving and expanding.

    Front Cover Image: Carina Nebula NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

    Design & production by: Ian Findlay DesignEditorial by: Indigo Words

  • The Galloway Ranger 3www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

    Hydro powered perfectionThe man-made reservoir Clatteringshaws Lochis a well-visited area in the Galloway ForestPark. Its tranquil atmosphere and beautifulsetting give it an eternal feel which belies it recentorigins.

    Clatteringshaws Loch was created as part of theGalloway hydro-electric scheme in the 1930s, whenmarshland was ooded by building a dam across theBlackwater of Dee.

    Submerged beneath the loch are the ruins of abridge across the River Dee dating from around1700, the original Craignell farmhouse and thebattlesite where King Robert the Bruce defeated theinvading English army in 1307. The nearby BrucesStone commemorates where he is said to haverested following his victory.

    With 8 dams, 7 1/2 miles (12 km) of tunnels,aqueducts and pipelines, and 6 power stations the

    Galloway hydro-electric scheme is an impressive featof engineering. It continues to generate greenenergy today by harnessing the power of the fastmoving water through the series of power stations.

    The main storage reservoir, Loch Doon, sits at thehead of the scheme in the north. A natural loch, itswater level was raised by the construction of a dam.When the downstream power stations need extrawater it is released through Drumjohn power station,owing into Kendoon reservoir to supply Kendoonpower station. Further downstream dams builtacross gorges provide water for the power stationsof Carsfad and Earlstoun.

    Water from Clatteringshaws Loch travels toGlenlee power station along the 3 1/2 mile (6km)Glenlee tunnel, one of the greatest challenges in theconstruction of the Galloway hydro-electric scheme.The 11 feet (3 1/2 m) diameter tunnel was created by

    Fast FactsWhen was the dam built? 1930-1935

    How high/long is it?The dam is about 178m (584 feet) above sealevel and it is 457m (1500 feet) long.

    Can you walk across it? No, it's not open to the public and onlyScottish Power sta can walk across the dam.

    Why is the level of water in the loch solow/high? The water level varies seasonally. Like anyother natural loch rainfall is the main factor.

    How deep is the water?The deepest part of the loch is about 21m (70 feet) when the dam is full.

    You can nd out more about the GallowayHydro Scheme on the Scottish Power websiteat www.spenergywholesale.com/pages/galloway_and_lanark_hydro_schemes.asp

    blasting the solid rock with gelignite. It took thegangs of workmen around 18 months to complete,with an average of 108 feet (33m) being excavatedeach week.

    In excess of 1500 workers were employed acrossthe whole scheme, travelling from all over Scotlandto work here in Galloway. Living in constructioncamps they endured harsh conditions and carriedout dirty and often dangerous work with only verybasic health and safety precautions. A memorialstone near Glenlee power station commemoratesthe lives lost during the construction of the scheme.

    Water from the rst ve power stations gathers in scenic Loch Ken, a natural loch that acts as astorage reservoir for the nal power station in thechain at Tongland. From here its released into theRiver Dee where it ows along the estuary and intothe Solway Firth.

    Thanks to everyone who completed avisitor centre questionnaire in 2010! Your feedback is really important to the Forestry Commission.

    All the completed questionnaires wereentered into a free prize draw and the 2010winner of a Forest Holidays cabin break wasMrs Cordiner, from Dundee who was a visitorto the Queens View Visitor Centre in June 2010.

    Forest Holidays are again working withForestry Commission Scotland to oer a 3

    Discover what Yogi, Raptacon and Andrew are blogging about atgallowayforestpark.blogspot.com

    Tell us what you think Want tokeep upto date?

    night, Friday to Monday, weekend stay in aCopper Beach cabin at Strathyre for up to 6people. Close to Callander, Strathyre is watchedover by towering Ben Ledi, with cabinsoverlooking the pine-fringed Loch Lubnaig ornestling close to the tree line.

    At the end of the year all the completedquestionnaires are analysed. Your comments areread, discussed and where possible changes areimplemented as a result of your feedback.

    So have your say and complete a 2011questionnaire at any of the visitor centres.

  • www.forestry.gov.uk/scotlandThe Galloway Ranger4

    Dark sky at night,stargazers delight

    Dazzlingvisitors

    The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is home tosome of the worlds darkest night skies andthe contrast between city skies and the darksky here is staggering. While in a city you mightsee only a few dozen of the brightest stars, here,on a clear night, you will be dazzled by literallythousands.

    The dark skies above Galloway Forest Dark SkyPark will amaze and delight, so here are some handyhints to help you get the most out of yourstargazing.

    What do you need to observe?Nothing - the dark skies will look stunning to your

    naked eye. However you should make sure youreyes are dark adapted in other words, that youreyes have got used to the dark. This takes around10-15 minutes. Binoculars or a telescope will helpyou see in greater detail.

    What equipment should you take?Warm clothing including hat, gloves, scarf, thick

    socks, stout footwear and a warm jacket becauseeven in summer it can be cold outside at night. Ahot drink from a thermos and some snacks can helpkeep you warm. A torch is vital, but cover it with ared lter so you dont spoil your dark adaption. Astar chart is a good way to begin learning your way

    around the night sky and a blanket or deckchair canmake your observing much more comfortable.Finally, before you set o, remember to leave a noteof where youre going with someone, as well as anindication of when you plan to return.

    What will you be able to see?Things you can see

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