The first of three new and upgraded visitor centres in the Galloway Forest Park is to open on Saturday.
A £4.5 million investment from Forestry Commission Scotland has helped to modernise two centres at Clatteringshaws and Glentrool and build a new complex at Kirroughtree.
All three visitor centres are using local, Galloway bases catering businesses to provide food and refreshments for their site, something those involved in the project are sure will help to boost the local economy.
“The new centres are stylish, modern and are designed to be very user friendly for the many visitors who are coming to Galloway Forest Park. The region has so much to offer in terms of green tourism and these new visitor centres are just what we need to create a more welcoming experience. The fact that we have local businesses working in partnership with the Commission to run the centres is great news and good for the local economy.”
– Keith Muir, Tourism Manager at Forestry Commission Scotland
The £4.5 million investment in Galloway Forest Park from the Scottish Forestry Commission has been said to show 'commitment' to boosting green tourism within our region.
The money has been invested into upgrading and building three new visitor centres within the park.
The new Kirroughtree visitor centre is due to open for the first time on Saturday.
The new tourism developments have been welcomed by Paul Wheelhouse, Environment & Climate Change Minister:
“Galloway Forest Park was established back in 1947 and is famed for its wilderness, rugged landscapes, nature and outdoor recreation. This multi-million pound investment in forest tourism marks a significant commitment to help support and grow green tourism in the region.”
– Paul Wheelhouse, Environment & Climate Change Minister
A new, state-of-the-art visitor centre is to open in Galloway Forest Park on Saturday.
£4.5 million has been invested by Forestry Commission Scotland to create and update three sites, including a new complex at Kirroughtree, a modernised centre at Clatteringshaws and an upgraded centre at Glentrool.
The new centre at Kirroughtree will be opened for the first time at 10am on Saturday.
All three visitor centres have Galloway based catering businesses providing food and refreshments.
The Kirroughtree complex aims to be very user friendly for those exploring the forests or just wanting somewhere for a bite to eat and a coffee.
For walkers or mountain bikers, there will be new showers, changing rooms, bike washes and an open space modern café.
John Dougan, the Forestry Commission's conservator in the area said:
"This is a worrying development and we are working with industry partners to manage its impact, both in terms of limiting its further spread and in dealing with the trees that have already been affected.
"There is a core area in Galloway Forest Park where it looks as if all larch has been infected and we are looking at how best to recover as much usable timber as possible.
"Beyond this core area, we are looking at taking further action to fell infected stands and those adjacent to it to try to minimise the further spread of the disease.
"Our aerial surveys have also identified suspicious sites in other parts of Scotland, however we think that the damage at these sites, most of which are well away from the main source of infection, could have been caused by canker - or reflects squirrel or deer damage of the tree.
"All of these sites will be visited so that our skilled surveyors can check for the disease."