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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Baldoon Kilsture January 2013

Saturday the 5th of January

Today's walk is along part of a walk we've done previously.

I'm the report writer for today's walk and as usual it'll be after the images.
I'll be putting a couple of pictures in from Scoop and the Milkmaid, however I'm sure Scoop's own report will also have some more cracking images.
There are seventeen of us today.

It's a potholed Shell Road 6 that gets us to the start point.
Baldoon RSPB Car Park (I haven't been down here since it became a nature reserve)

The new notice board

Baldoon Salt Marshes

Thanks to Scoop for the next two pictures
A boggy crossing at Skellarie
I copied a passage from a History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway by Peter Handyside MacKerlie the last time we were here. It's a free download from

Approaching Dunroaming Farm

Happy horses and a not so happy sheep

I like the lizards

Thanks to the 'Milkmaid' for the above picture (she got my good side)

Passing South Balfern Holdings

Kilsture Woods Car Park

Ferns, bracken and eerie pools



Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca)
Identified by the 'Milkmaid'

Variable Oysterling (Crepidotus variabilis )

A previous walker's artwork (possibly not the N.E. who's initials were carved in the rock.

A view across Wigtown Bay and Dunroamin Farm

The last stretch

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report
Saturday the 5th of January 2013

A cloudy but mild morning saw seventeen walkers travel down the nicely potholed Shell Road 6 to gather at the new RSPB car park at the Crook of Baldoon for the walk. Two potential new members were warmly welcomed.
The walk began on the muddy flood bank track south alongside Baldoon Sands.
Passing the remains of what was the 'Tracked Target Range' of the former Wigtown R.A.F camp they continued along the salt marshes until they reached the Skellarie Plantation. Here, a swampy burn was crossed to gain access to a grassy field leading up to Dunroamin Farm. Some friendly horses in adjoining fields came up to the fences to say hello. Evidence of the recent poor weather could be seen in the many pools of flood water scattered over the fields. A small but noisy skein of geese passed overhead.
From Dunroaming Farm a tarmac road now led through South Balfern Holdings and up to the B7004 Garlieston Road.
Crossing the road below Turkey Hill, the site of a water reservoir and a 20 m high mobile phone mast, Kilsture Forest was entered. A short stop saw the distribution of a selection of sweeties brought along by the walk leader.
There are two waymarked trails in Kilsture Forest, the Woodpecker Trail and the Deer Trail. Today the Deer Trail was taken. The dominant feature of this mixed woodland today was the moss and fallen leaves covering much of the forest floor. An amateur botanist in the group explained and showed the difference between bracken and fern. The walk continued along the often muddy track, passing reflective almost mystical pools and seeing the occasional flitting of birds. Shortly before reaching the outward loop of the Deer Trail, a lunch break was taken, a lush section of fallen branches provided excellent seating. A deer was spotted hurredly leaping across fallen trees to make a quick getaway from these interlopers.
After lunch the outward point of the walk at Hazelbank was reached. There are a number of Dawn Redwood trees at this loop, but were somehow missed by the group.
The Deer Trail now looped back north towards the car park. Along here were some fascinating fungi on the forest floor which got the cameras clicking. Like miniature red egg cups they were later identified as Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca). More tiny white fungi with an oyster gill were later identified as Variable Oysterling (Crepidotus variabilis ). The former delicious, the latter deadly !
Once back at the forest car park the group now retraced their route back to Dunroaming Farm from where they took a farm track back to Shell Road 6 and back to the walk start point.
To finish an enjoyable and dry day's walking, coffee,tea,scones and other delicacies were enjoyed at the Wigtown House Hotel in the Bayview Nursery.

The next walk, on Saturday the 12th of January is a 8.5 mile circular B walk from Ballantrae to Knockdolian Hill. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 09.00 am. The Breastworks Car Park, Stranraer at 09.30 am, or the walk start at Ballantrae Shore Car Park (NX082825) at 10.00 am. New members are always welcome.  If going to the walk start or for more information, contact walk leader on 01671 403351.


  1. That eerie pool would grace an episode of Scooby Doo and then to find messages made out of sticks.

    Interesting fungus and I like the lizards too.

  2. That dog at South Balfern Holdings looks like s/he would like to join the group!

    Those pictures of the fungi are really beautiful.

  3. Like the lizards as well Jim and the sheepdog. You seem to have so many great walks down that way.
    I seem to have missed seeing any interesting Fungi altogether this year for some reason.

  4. Fabulous photos Jim.

    And a happy new year.

  5. hello,

    we have a fungi that looks like your scarlet elf cup, but i had never heard it called that, love that name.
    and of course it will be a while until i see mushrooms... or so i think.

    wonderful to see your photos
    and the photo of you

    i would love to go on one of these walks.

  6. Thanks for all your comments guys, here's a Scottish greeting to be going on with.

    A guid New Year tae ane and a’,
    An mony may ye see!
    An durin aw the years tae come,
    O happy may ye be!
    An may ye ne’er hae cause tae murn,
    Tae sigh or shed a tear!
    Tae ane and a’, baith great and
    A hertie, Guid New Year!


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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