Pam Woods, is working on the social media team for Wild Seasons promoting Dumfries and Galloway’s Wild Spring Festival from 5th April-5th May 2014 and ongoing Wild Seasons activities . Pam is also directly involved with the regional wildlife tourism and conservation promotion through National Trust for Scotland involving Threave Estate and Rockcliffe. She has been involved for 20 years in Dumfries and Galloway, ranging from once owning the region’s wildlife park, to environmental education, running guided local wildlife walks and nature writing. Pam is enthusiastic and enthralled by the adventures to be had by the countryside around us and enjoys photography. Pam has kindly given her account of natural beauty spots and wildlife with particular note to the Stewartry area where she lives.
What does the Wild Spring Festival mean for Dumfries and Galloway?
Everyone can join in accessible, fun activities and this festival just gets bigger and bigger. Most of the activities are free or just a small charge. I love promoting the endless possibilities for people to visit places in the region, enjoy what the festival is about, and then, once hooked, they will be back or maybe even walk and notice nature a bit more when at home. For more information on Wild Spring Festival activities click to download the brochure.
Which wildlife do you rate as being unique to Dumfries and Galloway?
We have so much great opportunity for spotting wildlife daily here, as much of the region is undisturbed farming or forestry habitat or coastline. As to uniqueness, there are the northernmost colony of breeding natterjack toads on our southern coast and Dalbeattie Forest, among other spots, holds 5% of Scotland’s red squirrel population. There is a unique cave spider too.
Where are your favourite spots to view wildlife in Dumfries and Galloway?
Again, there are so many spots to possibly be candidates. I live in the Stewartry area and because it is the part with the most varied habitats in the smallest mileage. I have seen 100 bird species within 9 miles of home over one year. The Galloway Kite Trail, is a circular wildlife drive around Loch Ken and the Galloway Forest Park, which gives you a great opportunity to see loads in the many stopping off places, particularly kites and ospreys. I have two favourites, one where I work on Threave Estate, Castle Douglas and second, being a beach girl; the local beaches between Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse of Fleet of Brighouse, Knockbrex and Carrick Bay for marine life.
Where is your favourite walk in Dumfries and Galloway?
I like south from Kirkcudbright out to the headland of Torrs Point, which is in the “Galloway Coast” book, through the ancient coastal woodland, farmland and with majestic views of Kirkcudbright Bay and Little Ross Island all the way. You can tuck yourself in just off the path and soak up the sun while keeping an eye on all the great sea and insect life too!
Dumfries and Galloway is often called “the wee hidden gem of Scotland” Why do you think this is so?
Because it remains undisturbed and because we need to shout its natural attractions year-round out louder to everyone to come and see for themselves!
We wish Pam and all those involved with the Wild Spring Festival 2014 in Dumfries and Galloway a happy and successful season!