CAERLAVE­ROCK

DUM­FRIES AND GALLOWAY Novem­ber is mi­gra­tion time at this Sol­way Firth na­ture re­serve, and the BBC’s is in res­i­dence, say Don­ald Greig and Dar­ren Flint

Countryfile Magazine - - Walk -

WALK

n July this year, the lo­cal

press in Dum­fries and

Galloway was abuzz with

the news that Au­tum­n­watch

was com­ing to Caerlave­rock.

We shared in the ex­cite­ment for, in our opin­ion, it is one of the high­lights of this cor­ner of south­west Scot­land and a great place for a walk. Cov­er­ing al­most 20,000 acres, the Caerlave­rock Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve (run by Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage – SNH) is a vast flat ex­panse of sand, sea, mud and merse (salt marsh) stretch­ing al­most 10 miles along the Sol­way coast south of Dum­fries. Around 85% of the area is made up of tidal flats and mud­banks that dis­ap­pear at high tide.

This place is a haven for wildlife of all sorts, from birds to the rare nat­ter­jack toad and the even more ob­scure tad­pole shrimp, a fresh­wa­ter crus­tacean that has ex­isted for more than 200 mil­lion years and that, un­til its dis­cov­ery at Caerlave­rock in 1994, was thought to ex­ist in only one lo­ca­tion in the UK.

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