Red Kites at­tract tourists

Bird Watching (UK) - - News -

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.

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