Galloway Forest Park

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Coordinates: 55°07′26″N 4°25′26″W / 55.123861°N 4.423901°W / 55.123861; -4.423901

Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells as seen from Craignaw in winter, showing areas of Forestry Commission Sitka Spruce plantation

Galloway Forest Park is a woodland park, operated by Forestry Commission Scotland, principally covering woodland in Dumfries and Galloway. The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, on the Craigengillan estate in South Ayrshire, at the edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, was partly funded by the Scottish Government and opened in 2012.

The park, established in 1947, covers around 300 square miles (780 km2) and receives over 800,000 visitors per year. The three visitor centres at Glen Trool, Kirroughtree, and Clatteringshaws receive around 150,000 each year. Much of the Galloway Hills lie within the boundaries of the park and there is good but rough hillwalking and also some rock climbing and ice-climbing within the park. Within or near the boundaries of the park are several well developed mountain bike tracks, forming part of the 7stanes project.

As well as catering for recreation, the park includes economically valuable woodland, producing 500,000 tons of timber per year.

Dark sky[edit]

In November 2009 the International Dark-Sky Association conferred Dark Sky Park status on the Galloway Forest Park, the first area in the UK to be so designated.[1]

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, near Dalmellington, is located within the northern edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park.


  1. ^ "Forest park given Dark Sky honour". BBC News. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 

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