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Biosphere benefits beckon for village

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Biosphere benefits beckon for village

KIRKCOLM is the first village in the Rhins of Galloway to become a ‘biosphere community’ since the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere (GSAB) was expanded last year.

The Biosphere Communities scheme invites residents to share their favourite places, leisure activities and scenic spots for the GSAB website. Collectively the community signs up to the biosphere’s Proud Supporter Charter, making a commitment to taking positive action to help the planet and build community wellbeing.

Businesses in and around Kirkcolm will benefit from their new connection with Scotland’s UNESCO trail, as biosphere communities are promoted on the trail.

The Rhins of Galloway was brought into the designated region in 2023 following the biosphere’s ten-year periodic review and a public consultation that showed overwhelming support for the boundary expansion, which has seen it grow to cover more than 9700 square kilometres.

Commenting on Kirkcolm’s new status, chair of the Kirkcolm Community Trust Ian Morral said: “Kirkcolm is the northernmost village in the Rhins of Galloway, it’s a great place to live with some great flora and fauna, walks, and opportunities for bird and red squirrel spotting and fishing.

“The connection to UNESCO and the GSA Biosphere will benefit the area by bringing in more visitors to enjoy these various attractions, this in turn will help to preserve and create employment.”

Community and education lead officer for GSAB Jenna Cains added: “We’re so pleased to start 2024 by welcoming Kirkcolm to the Biosphere Communities scheme.

“Local people are rightfully proud of the connectivity within the village and the wealth of discoveries that can be made in one small place. I and the biosphere team are delighted that we’ll be supporting Kirkcolm in the years ahead in a range of important, sustainable, community-led projects that will make the area an even better place to live, work, visit, and connect with our great outdoors.”

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