£6 million Galloway Glens project completed after five years of work

  • Watch the full episode of Border Life looking into the Galloway Glens Project.

The £6 million Galloway Glens Scheme, which aimed to transform life in the rural heart of Dumfries and Galloway, has now wound up after five years.

The lottery money has funded projects big and small - from creating footpaths to archaeological surveys, transforming farmland and forrest.

Those behind the project wanted it to connect people living and working in the area with its heritage and landscape.

McNabb Laurie, who was tasked with delivering the Galloway Glens vision, said: "I went to school near Moniaive and then onto university.

"I was working for 10 years or so across the UK looking at geography and true environmental science. I ended up looking at people and how people interact with their environment.

"I remember coming to Loch Ken as a child and walking up in the hills.

"I like to be outdoors in the fresh air, I haven’t got an urge for fancy cars it is the life you can have in Dumfries and Galloway that appeals to me the most."

The project first received lottery funding in 2015. Credit: ITV

McNabb explained the work that went on during the project, saying: "The Galloway Glens scheme is five years of co-ordinated activity. Rather than doing a single big project you do a series of projects in a defined area and these projects feed off of each other.

"By approaching them in a more co-ordinated manner you end up with more than some of the other parts. It is about how to engage people in sometimes some of these bewildering global issues, we are trying to carve out a little corner.

"The Galloway Glens name was chosen because it doesn’t exist. The Galloway Glens varies from the wild land of the Galloway Hills right around to Loch Ken and Castle Douglas and then right out to sea.

"We are connected by the hydro scheme really. It has given the landscape a special quality in terms of the loch’s and the lakes. We pull together this package to showcase that the valley is special and that allowed us to get the lottery funding to do all of the work."

After five years working on the project McNabb cherishes his time spent in the region.

He said: "I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else and I feel so lucky that I have spent the last five years learning more about this valley and I get paid for it as well.

"The whole thing, I am so so lucky. My children think my job is going around and cutting ribbons but there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes."

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