Galloway Forest Park

(Galloway Forest)

Sunset over the Galloway Forest Park
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sunset over the Galloway Forest Park

A Forest Park extending over 240 sq. miles (622 sq. km) of South Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway in SW Scotland, Galloway Forest Park represents the largest area of commercial forest in the UK. It stretches the full length of the Galloway Hills, from Loch Doon in the north to Gatehouse of Fleet in the south and from Barr in the west to Loch Ken in the east. Designated in 1947, it is one of the most heavily forested regions of Scotland. The principal forests within the Park are Mabie, Dalbeattie, Clatteringshaws, Carrick, Penninghame, Glentrool and Kirroughtree, each of which has been developed since the 1930s to produce commercial timber. In recent years the forests have also been managed for a wide range of amenity, conservation and recreational activities and include over 200 miles (321 km) of waymarked routes for cyclists. There are visitor centres at Kirroughtree, Clatteringshaws and Glentrool in addition to a Red Deer Range and Wild Goat Park on the Queen's Way (A712 road) near Talnotry. In 2009, along with a site in Hungary, Galloway Forest Park became the first Dark Skies Park in Europe - an area consistently free of artificial light, principally to promote astronomy. It is also the largest of these parks in the world. The work, wildlife and people of the Galloway Forest appeared in the BBC Scotland television series The Forest (2018).

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