Kippford’s plan for nature is reserved
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.
Reserve plan Richard Corson , Julia Gallacher , Mike Riding and Alan Dingle on site at the new Kippford Nature Reserve