Sustainable Tourism in the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, Scotland

Sustainable Tourism in the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, Scotland

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Hello from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere where I will spend the next three days exploring all the
different sustainable eco-tourism elements that the area has to offer. From
stargazing in the dark sky park to kayaking on Loch Trool and a nature walk
up in the Merrick. And that doesn’t even mention all the interesting locals and
stories to discover. The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is a
place of natural beauty, rich history, great biodiversity and many Scots are lucky
enough to call it their home. It covers a huge area in the southwest of Scotland
and extends from the coast to the Galloway Hills and beyond. The biosphere
has created an eco tourism initiative in the area around Glentrool and that’s
exactly where I’m heading. In the spirit of sustainable and nature-based tourism
I travelled to the Biosphere by train and picked up a rental bike from Biosphere
Bikes. I’m spending two nights in the area – one at the house of Hill O’ Hotel
in Glentrool and the other one at Creeside Escape Shepherd’s Hut a few
miles down the road. Let’s hear from the owner Sarah Redman about the experience: So what we want people to do when they come here and stay here is to really
relax, unwind and recharge. You’ve just got to sit, relax, switch off and enjoy what nature provides you. My first Biosphere Experience was an
evening with Dark Sky Ranger Elizabeth Tindal. She brightened up the night sky
with a nighttime picnic and her stories about the stars and constellations. An
experience you must not miss in the Biosphere. Next up was a hike in the
Galloway Hills with Martin Webber. Like Elizabeth, Martin is an absolute expert
and offers immersive experiences in tune with nature. He took me up the hill near
the Merrick and passed on his incredible knowledge about local plants and
wildlife. Let’s hear it from him: I’m very happy to meet people who are interested
in getting out and about in the Galloway countryside, south Ayrshire countryside
as well and showing them what the area has to offer. Talking about the
landscape, its history, its agriculture and if we’re lucky, see some wildlife. My final Biosphere Experience was a day
out with Chris Saunders from Adventure Carrick, an activity provider based not
far from Glentrool. Since I love the water, Chris and I went kayaking on Loch Trool
followed by a well-deserved lunch. I asked about what the Biosphere means to
him as a local and Chris found the perfect words: We are the Biosphere, so
that’s what it means to us. It’s not something that’s separate from us
– we are the individuals, the people that live and work in the Biosphere.
So we are part of the Biosphere – the deeper connection with nature, the
working with the environment, we’re not using the environment, we work with the
environment. That’s what it means for us as a business, it’s like, we’re all one so
we try and work in harmony. And just like that, my trip to the
Biosphere has come to an end. Check out my blog WatchMeSee.com to
find my detailed itinerary and travel guide to follow in my footsteps.
Happy trip planning!

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