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Cream o’Galloway Wildlife Month

At Cream o’ Galloway we are all looking forward to arguably the best time of year for witnessing Galloway’s natural spectacles – the month of May.  We are planning to take full advantage of the natural world with a host of themed events and ranger led tours during May.

Current nature highlights include the arrival of our migrant songbirds, who add their voices to our native robins, thrushes and wrens to create a musical extravaganza.  This is well complimented by a seasonal burst of colours as many of our wildflowers burst into bloom, offering a bonanza for our butterflies, bees and moths.  These should soon be joined by dragonflies, damselflies and mayflies: good eating for the swallows and swifts who return from Africa to nest at cosy old Rainton!

If you fancy a bit more insight into the birds, beasts and plants which share our beautiful landscape with us, you couldn’t do better than join us for one of our seasonal wildlife events.  Diaries at the ready, everyone…

Sunday May 4th, 4.30am: Dawn Chorus Walk
And we do mean dawn…  Join Ranger Emily for a guided walk round our trails just as the first morning light wakes the birds into song.  This will be a unique look at Co’G’s wildlife, hours before the daytime crowds arrive.  Warm clothes and sturdy shoes/boots are recommended.  The event ends with a well deserved hot drink and light breakfast at the Visitor Centre, and is suitable for ages 10 and up – beginners and experts alike.  Costs £5 per person.

Sunday May 11th, 10.00am: Tree Trail
Ranger Alan leads a walk in the woods both ancient and modern, discussing the folklore, ecology and practical uses people have made of trees over the centuries.  Cream o’ Galloway has planted over 40,000 native broadleaf trees in the last eight years, and this event includes the chance to identify and label some of these new trees for future visitors.  Suitable for ages 10 and up.  Costs £1 per person.

Sunday May 18th, 9.00am: Birdsong and Wildflower Walk
Join Visitor Centre manger Helen and  the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Graham Smith on a guided walk taking in two of the season’s greatest assets: the birdsong which echoes round the trails and the wildflowers which brighten the woodland and pastures.  Suitable for ages 10 and up, this event is absolutely free.

Saturday 24th and Sundy 25th May, all day: Ecoweekend!
Ian Johnstone of Ecoweeks (www.ecoweek.org.uk) hosts a weekend of indoor and outdoor fun, games and activities with an ecological bent.  Ian held this event last year and got superb responses from all who took part.  Suitable for ages 4 and up, Ian asks only a £1.00 contribution on top of your Co’G entry price.

Wednesday 28th May, 1.00pm: Wildlife Photography Workshop
Cream o’ Galloway is privileged to welcome Keith Kirk, a well known photographer of Galloway wildlife and the council’s countryside ranger, for an afternoon of tips and guidance in the art of digital photography with plenty of opportunity to put your new skills to the test.  There are only a few places remaining at this event, so for further information or to reserve your place contact Keith directly at keith.kirk@dumfriesandgallowaynaturalhistory.co.uk or call 01556 502351.  Suitable for all abilities: ages 10 and up.  Costs £10 per person. 

Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th May, 8.30pm: Bat Night
Last but not least our annual bat night which was so popular last year we’re holding two in 2008!  Join the rangers for an evening of bat-crafts, bat-stories and bat-slides followed by the chance to do some real life bat spotting in the playground woods.  A fascinating insight into the night skies over Cream o’ Galloway.  Suitable for all ages (but be warned, it’s a late night – usually finishes around 10.30pm).  Warm clothes recommended.  Costs £2.50 per person. 

Plenty of chances to become an expert in Galloway’s natural history!

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