Project ‘hidden gems’ underway

View of the Stinchar Valley.
View of the Stinchar Valley.

One of the first awards made in Scotland through the National Lottery’s Great Place scheme is going to the Southern Uplands Partnership.

They have received a grant of £150,000 for the ‘ Place (People Land Art Culture Environment) in the Biosphere’ project which runs across three contrasting landscapes in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere: the Borgue Peninsula; the Wigtownshire Moors; and the Stinchar Valley.

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, which covers 5268 sq/km of SW Scotland, was designated in July 2012: recognised internationally as a world class environment for people and nature because of its fantastic array of landscapes, wildlife, cultural heritage and learning opportunities.

The lottery funding will help develop projects that address issues such as poverty, employment, health and education. Through working with artists, writers, geologist, historian, wildlife guides etc the biosphere team hope to uncover some of the region’s hidden gems.

Biosphere coordinator Ed Forrest said: “PLACE in the Biosphere offers us a fantastic opportunity to work closely with communities located in the biosphere to identify the stories, the places, the people, the experiences that make these individual communities so special. We hope communities will feel more empowered to both protect their unique heritage and to create new initiatives that celebrate it.”