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Galloway Red Kite Trail

Castle Douglas
 
Home » Attraction » Galloway Red Kite Trail

Contact Information

Phone:
01556 670464

Email:


Address:
Galloway Red Kite Trail
RSPB Scotland Dumfries & Galloway Office
The Old School, Crossmichael
Castle Douglas
DG7 3AP


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Details

The Galloway Red Kite Trail (or Galloway Kite Trail) is an exciting nature watching opportunity to view the spectacular red kite in lovely scenery. Situated around beautiful Loch Ken, the trail promotes the population of red kites, recently re-established in Kirkcudbrightshire, and stimulates nature-based tourism to benefit local communities in the area. In so doing, the trail helps to strengthen the ‘ownership’ of these birds of prey by local communities and tourist operators.

The trail is an anticlockwise route of some twenty four miles around Loch Ken (all year) with an additional sixteen miles of forest drive in the Galloway Forest Park (April to October).  You can collect a trail guide leaflet at business outlets on the trail or download the leaflet from the official website at gallowaykitetrail.com.

Cycling is a great way to spot red kites and the trail follows a fairly level route, with cycle racks provided at Boat O Rhone, New Galloway, RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes reserve and Mossdale. The west side of Loch Ken is particularly quiet and attractive for cyclists. It is also visited by families, walkers, wildlife lovers and birdwatchers from across the UK and overseas.

There are viewing points with interpretation boards; several walks,(from a few hundred metres to 5km); viewing hides; a feeding station; information boards in various outlets around Loch Ken; independent visitor centres; and even two red kite sculptures! (at Parton and Mossdale).

The trail is signposted with brown road signs in an anticlockwise direction and there are information points at Castle Douglas, Crossmichael, Parton and New Galloway, for additional guidance en route.

A feeding station, with visitor centre has been established at Bellymack Hill Farm near Laurieston, and over 100 kites have often been seen together around feeding time (2pm). These now include very few of the birds released between 2001 and 2005, as well as birds fledged in Galloway, with the odd visitor from elsewhere. Please note that directions for the feeding station are not signposted.

An RSPB Scotland Community Liaison Officer is often present to provide information on the kites and other wildlife in the area.

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