Galloway and Southern Ayrshire
is a first for Scotland

Hosting an amazing combination of landscape, wildlife and culture with communities that care about and for their environment.

Putting a global spotlight on south-west Scotland as a special place and one of only 580 Biosphere Reserves worldwide.

Providing a catalyst for new economic opportunities, environmentally sustainable development, nature conservation and education.

Offering a unique marketing opportunity through the global UNESCO brand.

The Biosphere is led by a broad partnership made up of representatives of communities, organisations, businesses, local councils and public agencies which are together committed to delivering the Biosphere Charter.

Scotland’s First Biosphere is an exciting new way to demonstrate good nature conservation and environmentally sustainable development.

UNESCO requires every Biosphere
to be made up of three zones:

The Core areas lie at the heart of the Biosphere and include extensive areas of mountain, moorland, freshwater lochs and rivers. They are home to a wide range of scarce wildlife including iconic species like golden eagle, red deer and wild goats.

The Buffer zone of Galloway Forest Park is a working landscape managed to protect the natural heritage of the core areas. The area offers tremendous recreational opportunities in dramatic landscapes. Activities compatible with good ecological practices are encouraged and include facilities like the 7Stanes mountain bike routes and the Dark Sky Park viewing areas.

The Transition area is the part of the Biosphere Reserve where people live and can work together to make the best use of our local resources. Such as the development of low energy housing, environmentally friendly farming, and nature based tourism.

Latest News

Do you fancy becoming a community ‘ambassador’ for Cally Woods?  As part of the Temple Project which is currently restoring the fabric of the Temple folly in the woods, we are seeking to encourage greater community ‘ownership’ and involvement in the history and heritage of the woods as part of the wider designed landscape of Cally. Nic Coombey and David Steel will lead a walk through Cally Woods on Wednesday 22nd October. The walk is open to anyone interested in learning more about the woods and their history. Join in by meeting at the Murray Information Centre at 10am.

Climate Ready Biosphere – on the 3rd September the Biosphere held the first of three workshops designed to involve local stakeholders in developing a vision for a Climate Ready Biosphere. For more information click here


A bioblitz event to record as many different species in 24 hours is taking place on the 13th July at Knockman Wood. Cree Valley Community Woodland Trust invite you to join experts between 10.00am and 4.00pm to take part in a challenge to find and record wildlife. The event starts with a bat walk on the evening before the event – contact http://www.creevalley.com/

Photographs are copyright of the photographers: Roger Crofts, Allan Devlin, Southern Uplands Partnership, Ing Image, Mark Polliitt, Adventure Centre for Education, Leeming & Patterson, Peter Sandground United

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere - Member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves