Kipp­ford’s plan for na­ture is re­served

The Galloway News - - NEWS - STU­ART GILLE­SPIE

A project to cre­ate a na­ture re­serve in Kipp­ford is gath­er­ing pace.

The Kipp­ford As­so­ci­a­tion has been busy work­ing on pro­pos­als for Kipp­ford Com­mu­nity Na­ture Re­serve, which will fea­ture wood­land, ponds and paths.

And things will take a step for­ward next week with the ar­rival of 4,600 trees to be planted around the site.

Kipp­ford As­so­ci­a­tion vice chair­man, Alan Din­gle, said: “Orig­i­nally the land was part of Kipp House Es­tate.

“This was the last par­cel of the es­tate and is now owned by the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“We wanted to pre­serve it as a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment for the vil­lage. We thought it was the best use of the land when it be­came avail­able.

“We’re look­ing to de­velop the land into a re­serve by plant­ing trees, de­vel­op­ing ponds, en­cour­ag­ing wildlife and cre­at­ing a pub­lic fa­cil­ity for the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion as well as visi­tors.”

In 2017, Kipp­ford res­i­dents and friends of the vil­lage raised £52,000 in just two months to buy the land, which com­prised of just un­der 50 acres of rough graz­ing land.

Since then the as­so­ci­a­tion has raised more than £80,000 in grants from a va­ri­ety of sources in­clud­ing the coun­cil’s dis­cre­tionary fund, SWEAT and Col­vend and South­wick Com­mu­nity Coun­cil’s Robin Rigg wind­farm fund.

They’ve also had sup­port from the coun­cil, SNH, the RSPB and the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land.

As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tee mem­ber, Mike Rid­ing, said: “There was over­whelm­ing sup­port to pre­serve the land and cre­ate a na­ture re­serve.

“The habi­tat we’re cre­at­ing is a com­bi­na­tion of small wood­land com­part­ments, meadow, scrub­land, and wet­land. That’s deemed habi­tat mo­saic and we’re cre­at­ing the mo­saic that will ben­e­fit the widest num­ber of in­sects and birds.

“The wet­lands will at­tract wild­fowl and ducks. What un­der­lies all that is es­tab­lish­ing habi­tats for in­sects.

“If you get those es­tab­lished the birds come, the mam­mals come and it’s a sign of a habi­tat in good con­di­tion.

“In the lower area, which is where the foot­paths are go­ing to be, we’re plan­ning to cre­ate an ar­bore­tum, which is a col­lec­tion of or­na­men­tal trees.

“The Gaelic name for Dal­beat­tie means val­ley of the birch so we’re go­ing to cre­ate an ar­bore­tum on the theme of birch trees.

“It’ll be a lovely place for peo­ple to walk when they are not able to cover the whole na­ture re­serve.

“It’s a long term ver­sion. It won’t be at its best un­til we’re long gone.”

Mr Din­gle added: “We’ve al­lo­cated a par­tic­u­lar part of wood­land that the chil­dren from Col­vend Pri­mary are go­ing to look af­ter.

“They will trea­sure it and they will bring their par­ents, who we hope will have the same en­thu­si­asm and Leona Wal­lace, who is the head­mistress for Col­vend, recog­nises the value of get­ting the pupils in­volved at the early stage.

“Some of the trees we’re plant­ing are older than some of the pupils and they will see the ben­e­fit of that in their life­time.”

Al­though a num­ber of vol­un­teers are in­volved in the project, the as­so­ci­a­tion is al­ways keen to at­tract more – es­pe­cially with the tree plant­ing due to be­gin next week. To get in­volved, or to find out more in­for­ma­tion about what is planned, visit http://kipp­fordvil­lage.

PIC­TURE: JIM MCEWAN

Re­serve plan Richard Cor­son , Ju­lia Gal­lacher , Mike Rid­ing and Alan Din­gle on site at the new Kipp­ford Na­ture Re­serve

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