Set on the outskirks of Kirkcudbright, the conservation park (formerly known as Kirkcudbright Wildlife Centre) is contained within 27 acres of mixed woodland and is the wild life conservation centre for the south of Scotland. A varied collection of nearly 150 animals from all over the world can be seen within the peaceful and natural settings where the woodland has been tailored to provide large and imaginative enclosures. Visit their website for full information.
From Barstobrick Visitor Centre you can enjoy a wide range of walks – easy grades around a network of wildlife ponds to a more strenuous hike up to Neilson’s Monument on Barstobrick Hill. Here you will find one of the most spectacular vantage points in Dumfries & Galloway from where the ruling tribes of Galloway could “see and be seen”. The Visitor Centre is fully staffed and easily accessible, providing visitor information, exhibition space, Farm Shop and Coffee Shop. Public Toilets attached to the Centre are open daily. good physical access near to the Visitor Centre and to the toilets – most of the wetlands paths are level, even and hard surfaced. The sign posted ‘easy access trail’ (1/3 mile) has a bench every 70 yards. Away from the Centre access may be more difficult for people with reduced mobility. Dogs are welcome . Visit their website for more information.
The Galloway Red Kite Trail is an exciting birdwatching opportunity to view spectacular red kites in lovely scenery. The trail is a suggested route which has been designed to give you the best chance to see red kites in the beautiful countryside of Galloway. In addition, there is a range of other wildlife and historical attractions to see around the trail. A feeding station with a hide has been established at Bellymack Hill Farm near Laurieston, and over 30 kites have often been seen together over winter months.
Ten miles of two way forest road winding along the banks of the Black Water of Dee and Loch Stroan between Mossdale and Clatteringshaws. For most of its length the Drive follows the course of an old drove road featured in “The Raiders” a romance by S. R. Crockett. In the surrounding forest red and roe deer graze on short vegetation whilst overhead buzzards, sparrowhawks, red kites and ravens can be seen with crossbills and siskins feeding on tree cones. You may even catch sight of the elusive pine martin. Art works such as the “Labyrinth” can also be seen along the Raiders Road.
The eastern end of the road is accessed from the A762 Kirkcudbright to New Galloway Road approximately 1 mile north of Mossdale Village (see map)or from the western end from the A712 Queensway at Clatteringshaws Reservoir (see map).
Open from Easter until the end of September. A small charge is made per vehicle.