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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Barclye RSPB to Newton Stewart July 2011

It's Saturday the 23rd of July and today's walk is a linear walk from the new RSPB carpark at Barclye through Knockman Wood and back into town.
There are fifteen of us on this glorious sunny day.Numbers are down due to folk being away on holiday and a contingent in the Alps.

The new car park has a very informative notice board.
I've explored most of today's walk over the last few months.Some of today's views I've posted before.There's a few from earlier this year at February Pictures

One of our elder walkers remembers a disused pit by this car park in his younger days,and it's still on the ordnance survey map.There's no longer any sign of it.I guess the RSPB have filled it in for safety purposes.
There were quite a number of lead mines in this area in days gone by.
We're taking the Red marked trail today.After a short walk through mature woodland we pass through one of a number of high gates erected to protect young trees from deer.

A short climb brings us up to the Mill Hill viewpoint.There's no urgency today so there'll be plenty of stops to look around.

There's a lot of colour on the moors.A fellow blogger recently posted some wonderful pictures of Harebells after the rain.Tammie's Post
Here in Scotland ours too are in beautiful bloom.No raindrops though.
Down in England this is often known as the Scottish Bluebell.Wikipedia and many other wildlife sources still call this the Scottish Bluebell.Anyone who has seen our wonderfully carpeted woodlands when the Bluebell blooms knows the difference.

Also blooming profusely today is the Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum).

Over to the west are the ruins of Castle Stewart.An ongoing project means the castle will be preserved for posterity.

This isn't a mountain in Virginia,but the lonesome pine on Knockman Hill will be our lunch spot.

After quite a while looking at views we're on the move again.
We follow a track over Barclye Moor.A cow protects her calf from these two legged creatures approaching.

And we arrive at Barclye.Once a farm it's now a tree nursery..As part of the Scottish Forest Alliance the Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust now run this facility and two of today's walkers are involved.
We learn a little of how the trust are replanting and the work done by volunteers.This passage from the Alliance website.
The 371 hectares of Barclye was acquired in order to more than double the the size of the remaining woodland at the Wood of Cree, through sympathetic planting and by encouraging natural regeneration. Although there are very few ancient oaks left on the ground at Barclye, the soil is of a far higher quality than that at Wood of Cree, and we are confident that woodland expansion will occur naturally in coming decades.

We're back on the move and Bully makes sure we all pass without troubling his large family.

It's a glorious day as we continue upwards.Our walk of a few weeks ago is brought to mind with Larg Hill standing prominently ahead of us.The sky is streaked with wispy white clouds and the views are wonderful.

Now we reach the drystone dyke that takes us into Knockman Wood.The dyke was built in 1824 when the Earl of Galloway created a 1500 acre deer park.Fallow deer roam freely nowadays.

A short walk through the conifers bring us to the highest point of today's walk at 221 Mtrs.
Three years ago I made a photo story video from photographs I'd taken in Knockman Wood and uploaded it to Vimeo.This lonesome pine is in the clip.After three years I see it's been played an amazing 103 times (ha ha).Click here to make it 104.A Walk in Knockman Wood

Lunchtime was only spoiled by too many flies and clegs (horse flies)
One of our walkers been particularly targeted by the clegs. 
His arm will need plenty of Anthisan to relieve the rash.

After lunch we begin to descend through Knockman Wood. Nature interpretation boards are regularly telling you what to watch out for.We stop to look at the 4000 to 6000 year old chambered cairn from the Neolithic period.

A fenced off area has high wooden steps for access.When trying to get fit quite a while back I gave myself a timed challenge of 4 crossings.It took me 90 seconds.Today I took 55 seconds,something must be working !.

The foxgloves are beginning to fall apart.These were the remaining three flowers on this particular stem.

Knockman is mainly composed of oak and conifer,but we passed one beech tree with an enormous girth around it's trunk.

My walking companions had a good laugh as I got down to take these mushrooms.I tripped and went flying.
After dusting myself down I did get the pictures.These are deliciously edible and are Oyster Fungi.

The last interpretation board is at the 15/16th century Corn Drying Kiln.A discussion on how it worked may or may not have been resolved.

After passing the ruins of Clauchrie village we now made our way over fenland to the Penkiln burn at Cumloden.
Trout were spotted swimming in the burn.
If I'd taken some of the Oyster Mushrooms and guddled (? google it) myself a couple of trout,the addition of a baked potato would have made a smashing tea.Down in Australasia they pay a fortune for a meal like that.

Now we've reached the Queen Mary Bridge and the wishing well.
I once read that you were allowed to drop two pebbles into the well and get your wish if one went in.
Our secretary was of the opinion you are only allowed one and it must go in.Perhaps this from one Olive Mcdonald is the true method.Ghosts in My Past

 A short distance from the bridge finished the walk for some ramblers who were ferried back to the cars at Barclye.A number of us continued on crossing the suspension bridge and making our way back to the Riverside car park.

The Riverside Centre Summer Fete was taking place.
Horse and cart rides were proving popular.
After all of today's walkers were accounted for a number of us paid the £1.50 entry fee into the Summer Fete.
Although the days activities were almost over, for our entrance fee we were treated to tea or coffee and an exquisite strawberry topped cream cake. 

A tasty finish to a nice easy and colourful walk,not to mention the wonderful company. 


  1. Aye only a Scotsman kens hoo tae guddle fae troot. What a super day for what looked an excellent walk.

  2. Seems like a beautiful warm sunny day was had & explored!
    Trout fish must be many across this planet as we have quite a few varities of this fish out here..

  3. Looks like summers arrived down there Jim.I,ve been out and about the last few days enjoying a rare good spell of four sunny days in a row but just as you get excited and start to plan bigger trips ahead it changes again!Ah well...Suppose it keeps
    everything fresh and green.
    Your club seems well attended if you had a group in the alps and still got a big show for the hill.

  4. Loved looking at these photos, I grew up at Barclye, parents still live in the farm house, love what the RSPB are doing with it :)
    L x

  5. It was a bit wetter on our next visit Lindsey.
    Glad to hear you like the post.


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