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New Galloway GKT Info Shelter (New Galloway, lower car park)

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RSPB Kenmure Holms Reserve

Site of International Importance
Nearby Kenmure Holms and the Loch Ken reservoir, between the old railway viaduct and the village of Crossmichael, are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  They are further designated under the Ramsar Convention on internationally important wetlands and under the European Birds Directive, as a Special Protection Area (SPA), for their importance as winter roost sites for Greenland white-fronted and Icelandic greylag geese.

Caring for Nature Through Conservation
We are managing the area to make it even better for wildlife, mowing some areas in late summer and by controlling the willow scrub and shallow flooding.
The marsh and scrub lie over soft mud, with concealed channels and the area is prone to rapid flooding.

Wildlife Haven
This extensive fen and willow carr (scrub) is one of the largest wilderness areas on Loch Ken. The marshes are home to several scarce and rare species of animals, including the harvest mouse, otter, willow tit, barn owl and water rail. In winter, shallow flooding attracts large numbers of waterfowl, including whooper swan and ducks such as shoveler, teal and mallard.

RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes Reserve
There are no visitor facilities on Kenmure Holms but hides, parking and access are all available on the reserve at Mains of Duchrae, 8 miles to the south of New Galloway and 4 miles north of Glenlochar village.
To get the best experience of the reserve and local area, follow the path along the flood bank and field edges. This path, managed by Dumfries & Galloway Council, begins at the end of the car park and follows the stream to the reserve boundary.

History of New Galloway

The Town’s Origins                                                                                  
Scotland’s smallest Royal Burgh, its name originates from ‘New Toun of Galloway’ but it was also formerly known as ‘The Roddings’. Founded and granted status as a market town with royal charter in 1629, it once had a full burgh council. The Town Hall, on the High Street, dates to 1875.
Coat of Arms for Royal Burgh of New Town of Galloway

Kenmure Castle                                                                                         
Kenmure Castle, one mile south of the town, was the magnificent home of the Gordon family for five hundred years and stands on the site of an earlier fortification. In 1568, following the stay of Mary Queen of Scots, the castle was burned down by her opponents. In 1650, it was sacked and burned by Cromwell’s troops, as the Gordons supported King Charles II. Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns stayed at the castle in July 1793. However, in 1950 there was a third fire. The roof finally collapsed in the 1960s, leaving the ruin we see today.

Religion & Memorials                                                                               
To the north is Kells Parish Church, the burial place of the literary family of Trotter. Its cemetery also contains a gamekeeper’s grave (with a touching epitaph) – the man famed for catching the largest pike from Loch Ken (72 lbs, seven feet long).  There are also `Adam & Eve’ stones and Covenanter memorials, as the New Galloway area was the scene of various religious persecutions from 1638-88.

Lowran Glen (2 ½ miles south) conceals a wonderful World War I memorial, deep in its folds, while on Dalarran Holm, just north of Ken Bridge, a standing stone reputedly marks the burial place of a Danish King.

Routes to the Royal Burgh                                                                     
New Galloway is accessible from all directions. Its railway station was 5 miles to the south (Mossdale) on the famous ‘Paddy Line’, prior to closure in 1965.

The attractive Ken Bridge was built in 1820-24 following at least four attempts that were washed away during floods. Its designer, John Rennie, also built the second London Bridge and the Tweed Bridge at Kelso.

Along the Queen’s Way, near Clatteringshaws Loch, is Raploch Moss, where in 1307 Robert the Bruce rested (at Bruce’s Stone) after defeating English troops.
Arts & Literature                                                                                        
Many literary figures lived around the town in the 18th and 19th centuries. For more information, visit the History Stop at The CatStrand on High Street.

Dumfries & Galloway Leader Local Action Group