Red Kites attract tourists
People visiting Dumfries and Galloway to see the region’s Red Kites have contributed more than £8.2m to the local economy. The raptors were reintroduced to an area north of Castle Douglas from 2001 and two years later the Galloway Kite Trail was launched as a partnership project led by RSPB Scotland. Now, an economic survey carried out by the conservation organisation, found that between 2004 and 2015, the trail attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the area, and that £8.2m of spending was directly attributable to people who came to the region to see Red Kites. The Galloway Kite Trail is a communitybased project facilitated by RSPB Scotland, in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and Bellymack Hill Farm, which takes visitors to some of the best locations in the region to see Red Kites – as well as promoting activities and services provided by local businesses. Overall visitors to the Galloway Kite Trail spent an estimated £54.6million in the region. Doug Wilson, of Visitscotland, said: “Having attracted well over 100,000 visitors, the trail has delivered significant benefits to tourism within the region and the impact on our local economy has been tremendous.” A total of 105 breeding pairs were counted in surveys during the summer of 2016, with at least 120 young fledged.