It's wilder than you might think.

About Us

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As members of the National Trust for Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Countryside Team, we manage properties across Dumfries and Galloway, including Threave Estate and Nature Reserve; Rockcliffe Property; Venniehill; The Murray's Isles and Bruce's Stone. Our task is to conserve and maintain the variety of habitats and species present, at the same time managing the sites for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.

31 May 2013

NTS Cruise 2013 St Kilda

 The Gap Hirta
 Levenish from Oiseabhal Hirta
 Quest for Adventure in village bay Dun in the background
 Fulmars riding the wind at the top of the Gap Hirta
Cleits on Oiseabhal Hirta

St Kilda was one of the destinations on this years one week cruise, St Kilda is a unique ecosystem consisting of the islands of Hirta, Dun, Levenish, Soay and Boreray with Stac an Armin and stac Lee these sea stacks supporting around 60 + thousand pairs of gannets. St Kilda hosts the oldest and largest colony of Fulmars 68,000 pairs. Also 140,000 pairs of Puffins nest on the islands, mainly Dun. This makes St Kilda the most important seabird breeding station in north-west Europe. Other unique species like Leach'e petrel nest here in small numbers. The huge numbers of seabirds found on St Kilda were vital to the survival of the islanders at the time, eggs provided fresh food in the summer, with Gannets and Fulmars being harvested each season. Feathers and oil were kept to export and helped to pay the islanders rent.

30 May 2013

Swallow - keen to do my office work !

 Swallow offering to do some paper work............ I wish !

This swallow was in my office like a flash yesterday, after I popped out for all of two minutes leaving the door slightly open to talk to some visitors. We have a number of  nesting pairs around the reserve and wider estate, hard to imagine these beautiful birds flying from south Africa and skimming over the Sahara desert, at a water hole, hawking insects among camels. Here's hoping for some sunshine. More updates to follow soon. Karl.

16 May 2013

Wetland wonders

We have finished all our wildlife scrapes now, and await to see what wildlife uses them, otter pug marks were evident in the soft excavated mud around some of the pools. We do ask visitors to keep to all our main paths, to minimise any disturbance to all wildlife.  Keep an eye out as bat activity is increasing, its well worth coming and walking our self guided trails, bat detectors can be hired from the visitor centre.We are finishing off some footpath work around the wider estate to improve access and drainage, and created a small picnic area and built picnic tables to go down near the nature reserve information point.

09 May 2013

Threave wetland improvements Wildlife scrapes

It has been great to finally progress our work further with the creation of a number of scrapes on the nature reserve near the public viewing osprey platform. The weather and contractor time has allowed us to work on these over the last couple of weeks. The scrapes are shallow depressions which will seasonally hold water, creating features attractive to a whole host of wildlife, including wading birds.They encourage a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. So when you are down to see the ospreys or wildlife watching look over the scrapes, and see what they attract as they settle and establish.