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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Wigtownshire Ramblers Glenwhan Circular February 2015

Saturday the 7th of February

Previous walks around this area include

As usual around this part of Galloway the Farmer is the walk leader.
Shorty's writing the walk report and that will follow the pictures.
Scoop forgot her camera, but managed some good pictures on her smart phone and I'll include a selection of those too.

Twenty six of us began the walk.
The start was at the section of the SUW next to Airyolland Moss.

The sky was clear enough to get a great look at the snow covered Galloway Hills

Vapour trails were plentiful throughout the day

Forestry operations.
The larch disease phytophthora ramorum is still being eradicated by felling.

Our leader imparts local knowledge

We encountered snow and ice 

Very slippery in places

I can see lots of anilmals in the ice at the top.
A baby polar bear bottom left and a big dog has certainly been this way

Bottom right above our leader points out the moors of his childhood

The Glen Plantation

A mossy scramble

At Craig Crossing we had to wait for a train....................

......................this one

The gate keeper doesn't get too many visitors on foot

View across the Water of Luce

Drainage pipe under the railway

Leader again imparts his local knowledge..............

................of Craig Farm

Easy underfoot

Crossing the Craig Burn

Lunchtime, snowdrops and lichens

Back on the move

An enigma for Shorty.............conifer cones and no conifer trees ?

To the left of the trees on the left is an area called The Devil's Flesh Barrel !

Bridge on the SUW across the Water of Luce

Railway footbridge at Airyolland

Walker's signpost

Zoomed into Milton of Larg

View north and east from Airyolland Fell

Milton of Larg, Mains of Larg and Arecleoch Wind Farm on the horizon

Solo wind turbine above Low Airyolland

Galdenoch Farm view

To the east, low cloud descending on the Galloway Hills

Highland Cattle

Tarmac back to the walk start
After walk refreshments were enjoyed at the County Golf Club

Back at the Glebe, Snowy stood guard

Here's are the pictures from 



A lovely day in the countryside

Here's Shorty's report followed by some of his own photographs 

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 7 February 2015 – Glenwhan Forest Circular

Saturday morning was a bright, clear, chilly winter’s day with barely enough breeze to turn the blades on the wind turbines on the distant hills.  Ideal weather for our planned walk around Glenwhan Forest. Twenty six ramblers assembled at the gateway on the surprisingly busy New Luce to Castle Kennedy road.  After a short address from the walk leader we set of briskly down the rough road towards the start of the forest.  We carried on along the road, treading gingerly on the frozen tracks where the road was shaded by the older trees.  Later, we turned onto the “New Road” (only about 20 years old!).  Our leader regaled us with his memories of the area when it was all open moorland with not a tree in sight.  The second crop is now well grown.

We followed the New Road eastwards over increasing patches of frozen snow until we reached a sharp bend.  Several members commented on the size of the paw prints in the snow.  It must have been a large hound.  At the bend we left the road and followed an old dyke southwards.  The trees on our left were mostly horizontal.  Some had been down long enough for the tip to be swinging upwards and others had produced numerous new stems along their length as they struggled to make the most of the daylight.  Ahead of us Luce Bay sparkled in the winter sun and the rising breeze stirred the standing trees.  At the top of the Airyhemming Glen we found our way blocked by fallen trees but a short detour took us onto the steep bank of the glen and back on to our route.

At the bottom of the wood we reached Craig Crossing over the railway line.  A call to the signalman warned us of an approaching train so we waited until it whistled past heading down the hill towards Stranraer.  We then crossed the line and turned northwards below the embankment.  At Craig farm the track disappeared but our leader assured us that in his youth he had travelled by vehicle up the route towards Airyolland.  Our route ran parallel to the railway and the open fields soon gave way to scrubby woodland.  After crossing the Craig Burn, which fortunately was not running too fast in spite of the melting snow, we climbed back up to the railway line at the site of an old railway cottage, last occupied in the 1960s.  The site of the old road crossing could be discerned by two old gates in the railway fences where the traffic had once crossed.  We stopped here for lunch, perching on various fallen trees and stone walls.  We were interested to observe the number of old bottles which had been tossed over the garden wall.  They ranged from small co-operative milk bottles to varieties of whisky containers and a strange bottle with a narrow spout, possibly an oil container.  Our leader told us of the earlier occupants’ method of obtaining their milk.  They had arranged an aerial ropeway across the valley to the dairy at Galdenoch Farm and milk containers were trundled back and forth across the river, a distance of over 300 metres.

After lunch we continued northwards through the woods. We were intrigued to find an area some 10 metres square covered in spruce cones in the middle over a stand of oak trees.  No satisfactory explanation occurred to us.  Beyond the wood we crossed a field and briefly joined the Southern Upland Way where it crosses the railway on a bridge over a deep cutting.  Continuing northwards and then westwards we skirted a wood and climbed to Airyolland Fell where a small turbine rattled cheerfully in the rising breeze.  There were lovely views eastwards to the snow covered Galloway Hills and the rough moorland to the north.  Westwards the land rolled down towards the woods of Stair Estates and Stranraer.

We descended to the farm road where a group of young highland cattle trundled over to inspect our brightly coloured group.  Following the road we passed Airyolland Loch which lapped over the road.  The loch was largely frozen but two pairs of ducks found enough space to take off quacking into the wind. 
The road soon took us back to the cars after an exhilarating walk in lovely winter weather.  Most of the group then repaired for excellent tea and cakes at the County Golf Clubhouse.

Next week’s walk will be a more strenuous trek around the watershed of the upper Skyre Burn.  Meet at 09:00 at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer or at 09:30 at the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart to share transport.  New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01671 401222 for full details.

Thanks Shorty, lots of good pictures on this post now.


  1. So many breathtaking views here, Jim. And I noticed that not everyone has a walking stick this time around.

    1. Thanks Linda, no, not everyone has walking sticks. Some even do the more strenuous without walking poles.

  2. you got some wintry weather, how fun. the snow man has seen better days ;-)
    and a train ride. looks like another wonderful outing.

    1. Hi Tammie, you wouldn't recognise Snowy today, he's completely transformed to just a smiley face, the snow's almost all gone now..........we no longer get a long winter season

  3. Nice photos Jim. I don't mind farmers and local community small scale wind farms in the landscape. I watched Countryfile tonight though and it raised some interesting facts about wind farms. The UK taxpayer currently pays 1.5 billion pounds a year for turbine subsidies and a further 1 million pounds a week to keep them switched off when the national grid cant cope with their output yet a further 3000 to 4000 have been green lighted for development so they seem to be here to stay.
    Like the tree wrestling in some of the pics. You may have noticed I like to wrestle on my high horse :o

    1. Cheers Bob, ref wind farms, this page makes interesting reading.

      The 'Farmer' got a bit embarrassed about the tree wrestling. Hi ho Silver away !

  4. Great interesting link Jim. Any chance of me referencing it as my final comment on wind farms in a future post? I've decided to drop the subject as everyone has different opinions and I've already made mine clear. IE. I think they are just a modern con to make rich investors yet more easy money and the taxpayer will be left with the clean up cost 20- 30 years down the line when they need replaced without subsidy handouts and the get rich quick merchants bail out.

    1. Totally agree Bob, nothings really changed much except we don't need to doff our caps anymore.


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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