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  • Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    referring to a ford over the Balloch Burn it has also been called Ballochanamour in the past and locals have known the wood as the Whinnie Face after the gorse which grows on the hillside The woodland follows the course of the Balloch Burn from the hills west of Creetown to the Cree Estuary Linear in shape and several kilometres long it offers a range of walks through a richly varied woodland of Larch Oak Scots Pine Beech Italian Alder and other species The woodland changes with the seasons carpeted with primroses and blue bells in spring while in late autumn ochre coloured Larch needles cover the forest floor Throughout the year there are abundant mosses and ferns particularly those hanging in the gorge created over many thousands of years by the gradual cutting action of the Balloch Burn Wildlife is plentiful with a healthy red squirrel population woodpeckers tree creepers great and coal tits and roe deer Remains of mill and quarry industries from the 18th century and several sites of archaeological interest including a Chalybeate well where iron deposits turn the water red provide further features of interest for the visitor These are complimented by recent artistic projects

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/ (2016-02-10)
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  • About the Balloch Wood Community Project
    the local community was immediate and positive over 60 people attended the first public meeting to discuss the idea A particular wish was expressed for the informal paths within the woodland to be upgraded to a proper standard to allow their use by a much wider range of people The involvement and interest of the community from the start has been central to the success of the project After further consultation it was decided to go ahead with developing the woodland as a recreational resource for the benefit of local people and visitors alike Subsequently a steering group from the community was set up and the Balloch Wood Community Project was established as part of the Creetown Initiative a body dedicated to the area s regeneration Together with the Forestry Commission a 25 year management agreement was put together and since then work has gathered apace to turn the woodland into the community and tourist resource which it is today More recently the Balloch Wood Community Project has benefited from being one of a linked programme of 21 diverse projects involved in the Sulwath Connections Landscape Project a Dumfries and Galloway Council led scheme to enhance and promote the landscape cultural heritage and biodiversity of the Solway Coast and River Valley area funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Together these different partnerships have achieved a huge amount Four woodland walks have been developed with routes to suit walkers of all abilities and ages including an all abilities trail and ideas for routes outwards into the surrounding hills In the centre of the woodland a wooden roundhouse has been built using traditional techniques to provide shelter and to serve as an interpretation centre accompanied by further interpretation and seating points through the woodland The interpretation centre is located beside the wildlife

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/about-balloch-wood.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • Partners & Friends of The Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    extend our thanks Forestry Commission Scotland have managed Balloch Wood since 1958 when it was purchased from local landowners Currently they manage it under a 25 year management agreement with the local community and Creetown Initiative Forestry Commission staff including Lyndy Renwick Stan Corocoran and Rob Soutar have been centrally involved in assisting and encouraging the project Sulwath Connections Balloch Wood has benefited hugely from the support of the Sulwath Connections Landscape Project funded through the Heritage Lottery and Sulwath project staff including Chris Wood Gee Ed Forrest and Rose Anne Smith Specific projects funded through this Project are included on the Sulwath Connection Landscape Partnership Project s web site Dumfries Galloway Council in addition to the support provided through Sulwath Connections Council staff have been of great assistance Chris Hopkins and the onsite assistance of Alison Keith and Gilbert Clark were instrumental in installing the first paths vital milestones in maintaining momentum and demonstrating that the project was delivering The Mid Galloway Area Committee of the Council also provided the initial funding for the day to day management of the project Scottish Natural Heritage SNH have been involved in this project from the very beginning Mike Scott SNH s

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/balloch-wood-partners.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood.
    itself or from the most sympathetic local source All routes are waymarked from the village square and provide access to the main points of interest and features including the poetry stone circle the waterfalls and gorge of Balloch Burn red squirrel feeding sites an ancient chalybeate well the wildlife ponds and roundhouse interpretation centre and areas of broadleaf woodland However for the more intrepid walker keen to explore off the beaten path a wide range of other discoveries await you Burnside Trail The Burnside Trail is a 2 mile circular route full of features and points of interest which starts at Kirkmabreck Church on the edge of Creetown Village and follows the Balloch Burn upstream as far as Cardoon Bridge before returning through larch woods along the Larch Trail back to the Church The larch trail return route alternatively provides easier access through the forest for the less able Pond Trail The Burnside Larch trails can also be extended for a further 1 5 miles in both directions by continuing from the Cardoon Bridge on the Pond Trail which meanders through ancient woods before reaching the Garrochar wildlife ponds Parking is also available at the wildlife ponds so walkers can

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/balloch-wood-paths.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    to enable visitors to walk around the Garrochar Wildlife Ponds within a short distance of the carpark on the Old Military Road by Balloch Bridge These ponds were re created on the site of former Curling Ponds and have become the perfect habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna The original curling pond was initially built by the people of Creetown who formed the Kirkmabreck Curling Club in 1838 and curling continued in the winter months until 1945 when the vagaries of the weather led to the decision to play on an indoor rink in Ayr The three wildlife ponds today have been deliberately designed in different sizes and depths to attract a wide variety of wildlife from frogs and toads to newts fish dragon and damsel flies and birds An interpretation board at the carpark side of the ponds challenges you to recognise various species of flower and animal including The Common Frog the Greater Ringed Dragonfly the Common Lizard Wild Teasel Meadow Crane s Bill and the Yellow Flag Iris In addition to these naturally occurring species a range of native and exotic trees have been planted around the pond in recent years including poplar rowan hazel apple great white Japanese cherry golden willow and Spanish chestnut Balloch Community Woodland gained specific permission to plant these trees and they further reflect the theme of blending the past with the present and the traditional with the exotic reflected in other parts of the forest such as the poetry stone circle On the hillside at the far side of the ponds you might spot an ancient rowan in folklore known as a magical tree which will protect against malevolent beings sheltering under the line of the woodland beyond On the roadside of the ponds a wooden roundhouse provides

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/woodland-trails-all-abilities.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • The Burnside Trail - Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    your left are excellent views over Creetown and the Cree estuary with Kirkmabreck church prominent in the foreground This church built between 1831 and 1834 replaced two earlier churches in the area A fork in the path marks the outward and return legs of the loop you may either turn up right into the larch trees along a woodland ride which provides easier access through the forest for the less able or keep left alongside the dry stane dyke on your left hand side Keeping left the path soon makes a sharp bend to the right as you approach the Balloch Burn running through the steep sided gorge below A pair of wooden slab and pillar chairs on the right hand side are the first of a set of hand crafted seats provided courtesy of Dumfries and Galloway Council Access Department for visitors along the length of the path network Beyond here the path starts to climb through the mixed woodland above the burn the only section which has never been planted and therefore remains as nature intended before descending into the gorge where a mass of woodrush hanging ivy ferns and mosses cling to the sedimentary Greywacke stone walls Grey wagtails can sometimes be seen darting from boulder to boulder over the fast flowing burn Also look out for the Chalybeate or Red Well appearing as a hole in the rock on the far side of the burn its location indicated by an interpretation panel beside the path The word Chalybeate refers to any water that contains iron salts and was often thought to have curative properties The water from this well these days however is highly poisonous and not for drinking Slightly further along the path is a further interpretation panel about red squirrels and a feeding station

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/woodland-trails-burnside.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • The Oak Trail - Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    surrounded by mature birch trees wild cherry ash and other ancient broadleaf woodland As the path bends to the right views start to open up over the wall on your left hand side and beech trees become the predominant species A line of alternating oak and beech trees along the length of the wall originally marked the boundaries of land ownership An oak plinth marks a change in the nature of the woodland from predominantly beech to oak while views open up beyond an ancient beech tree towards the Cairnsmore and Merrick hills Once again the benches are hewn from large slabs of oak by Alan Iain Charlie Shennanton Saw Mill Kirkcowan Honeysuckle commonly grows on the dyke and skylarks can frequently be spotted over the open fields beyond Looking the other direction into the woodland one can spot some redwood trees deep in the forest and in winter you can see Larg Hill through the trees in the distance A couple of hundred metres on the path forks amongst the silver birch Taking the upper trail you continue through the birches before dropping down to the right and rejoining the lower path and bearing left An avenue of Beech Trees forms an arch which leads north east to the kissing gate on Glenquicken Road There is the option at this stage to continue the walk directly back to Creetown by exiting the kissing gate turning left for 50m and then left again to take the minor road downhill to Creetown s village square This route could be combined with all of the other sections of trail to form a wonderful circular route through the length of the forest and back along the road The more open aspect of this route enables you to enjoy views in all directions Down

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/woodland-trails-oak.asp (2016-02-10)
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  • The Pond Trail - Woodland walks and wildlife ponds at Balloch Wood Community Project,Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
    as an extension of the Burnside Trail commencing from Cardoon Bridge or starting at Balloch Bridge on the Old Military Road by the Wildlife Ponds Route Start at Cardoon Bridge formerly marked as a ford on mid 19th century maps whose name derives from the Gaelic for bubbling stream This bridge was designed by local resident Dorothy Scherrer along with two forestry commission engineers based on an illustration of the bridge in the scene where Tam O Shanter s horse Meg gets her tail pulled off by a witch in a book of poetry by Rabbie Burns Those continuing their walk from the Burnside Trail will notice an immediate change in the nature of the forest to more coniferous woodland although this changes as the path climbs eastwards This section of trail probably demonstrates the widest variety of trees present in Balloch Wood Shortly after the bridge those keen to explore off the beaten track might find the ruined remains of a Waulk Mill and an old steading Ballochanamour hidden in the forest up on the right hand side of the path Similarly walkers will hear a waterfall down on the left hand side of the path The Balloch Burn is separated from the path at this point but the more adventurous might like to leave the path to explore and will be rewarded by the sight of a series of small narrow waterfalls tumbling through the undergrowth Continuing along the path the trail gently winds through forest and clearings towards the moorland which starts to open up on the right hand side in the direction of Larg Hill The nature of the woodland constantly changes and becomes increasingly broadleaf in character Passing through a gap in a wall you find yourself in a coppice of at least eight different

    Original URL path: http://www.creetown-walks.co.uk/woodland-trails-pond.asp (2016-02-10)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-13