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.

24 January 2014

Bat Themed Event at Threave Gardens

Mid-term Mischief; Bat themed fun, games, quizzes and craft activities.

Wednesday 19th February 2pm-3.30pm Threave Bat Reserve, Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas DG7 1RX.

Booking essential, contact Jackie on the batphone 07899 711742. £1 per person.

Spartina. Finished!

Yesterday the team and I finished the Spartina marathon! So hopefully it worked and the invasive grass’s spread reduced. 

What Rockcliffe could look like if the invasive cord grass was not controlled.

See older post for all the information on Spartina.

Flooded Castle...

With the storms came flooding, some of the heaviest in living memory. Here is an aerial picture of the castle completely underwater!

It has also affected us here at the reserve.

A picture of the bridge washed away!

Loads to do!


A dozen barnacle geese mixed in with the Pink-footed geese on my front lawn, just before Christmas..................
 Also spotted since!

Generic Sunset on Threave Castle

Generic sunset picture on Threave castle a few nights ago.....

The festive season was not kind to the trees....

Some of the storms that battered our shores were the worst in over 20 years. There was absolute DECIMATION in some parts (the word decimate came from the Roman times when the battalion leader took 10% (dec- meaning 10) of the soldiers and killed them, as a warning to the others. Thanks for that pearl of wisdom Dave).

A familiar site...
160 odd year old trees were being knocked down like matchsticks. However it’s not all bad, it creates LOADS of work for the team and I, bring on the season of the chainsaw!

A picture of me Chainsawing...

However the death of these trees creates a new life for others, as they slowly replace their predecessors, given the new space and light they will receive. Some of the timber will be extracted for firewood but most will be left in the forest. Creating a smorgasbord* of deadwood of differing thicknesses decaying at different rates, useful for different taxa.
*Smorgasbord is the word of the week at the reserve. It means ‘a varied collection.’

20 January 2014

Highland Cattle at Rockcliffe...

Go see the Highland cattle on the bottom meadow at Rockcliffe. Winter grazing of the meadows, keeps the grass down over the winter, so it doesn’t overtake in the Summer. Keeping a richly biodiverse wildflower meadow!

Mystery Tracks???

As well as birds Judy also took a picture of these tracks on the main beach at Rockcliffe! (One of our other properties). Can you guess what it is.................?

It’s an otter.

Hapy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all, hope you all enjoyed the festive season. I certainly did, I think I ate my own body weight in mince pies, cheese and port.
With the New Year come fresh objectives, goals and outlook on life. One of mine is to get out, explore and appreciate the natural world.  Sometimes, what is on our doorstep is just as thrilling as being in the back and beyond. Anyway I digress. Get down to Threave NNR (National Nature Reserve) and appreciate the wildlife there. Winter is still here and is such an exciting time of year as far as wildlife is concerned. There are still thousands of geese and wildfowl about; noteworthy species include pintail, shovelar, goosander (ducks), 4 species of goose (Pink-footed by the thousand, Greylag, Canada and White-fronted) and a fair few Whooper Swans. Also one of our dedicated volunteers also spotted a black swan from upper blackpark hide mixed in with a bunch of Whoopers, hopefully I can get a picture of it soon.....!