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Connecting Cairnsmore

A new project called ‘Connecting Cairnsmore’ has launched and will include a series of guided walks and talks focussing on the wonderful wild space of Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve. Set over four Saturdays in October, you are warmly invited to join a series of local experts to explore this highly important National Nature Reserve, one of the core areas of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.  Free tickets to take part can be booked via the link below.

Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve (NNR) is one of the wildest areas in southwest Scotland. The reserve, managed by NatureScot, is one of the Core Areas of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere - an international designation which was awarded based on the region’s outstanding landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage. The reserve is an exceptional area of high conservation value due to its blanket bog and peatland habitat. Rivers and old railway lines provide physical connectivity between the landscape of Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR and the communities of Creetown and Gatehouse-of-Fleet, but there are many more deeper connections between this internationally important landscape and its gateway communities.

In partnership with NatureScot, Gatehouse Development Initiative and Creetown Initiative, the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is seeking to explore the connections between this special area and the local communities of Gatehouse of Fleet and Creetown. 

Through workshops with specialists and guided walks within the reserve we will explore this historic and cultural connectivity as well as the significance of the NNR for biodiversity and tackling climate change. A specialised workshop for businesses in the area will look at the opportunities of the NNR as a sustainable tourism experience. 

We are warmly inviting all members of the community to participate in this project to be held simultaneously at Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse-of-Fleet and Waverly Hall, Creetown, throughout October. We would love to hear your thoughts if you would like to share your knowledge and memories of the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve. For those who would simply like to know more about the reserve, please choose a session to join us and learn about this amazing natural landscape.

All sessions are facilitated by the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere team alongside local experts, and include refreshments and a trip to the reserve itself with a guided walk. Walks will include some solid path and some grass path that might be wet or uneven, & between 2-4kms in distance. Transport will be provided for trips to the reserve (max 16 places available per session), self-drivers welcome.

Sat 1st October. General introduction to the Cairnsmore on Fleet National Nature Reserve. Would suit anyone who would like to learn more about the reserve.

Sat 8th October. Exploring deeper links. Would suit anyone interested in exploring the heritage & cultural links between the reserve and the communities. 

Sat 15th October. Businesses. Would suit business owners in the region who would like to learn more about the reserve.

Sat 22nd October. Natural history. Would suit anyone interested in exploring the ecological importance of the reserve. 

To book a free ticket visit ‘Connecting Cairnsmore’ on Eventbrite, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.