Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival

The diverse terrain of the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland contains a wide variety of habitats that support an abundance of wildlife. The Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival, which is set to take place from 21 March through to 13 April 2008, invites everyone to explore the natural beauty of the area by means of a host of events designed to educate and entertain the entire family.

There are numerous new events on the program with some of the popular events of previous festivals being repeated in 2008. These include an open day at the Wildlife Hospital and visiting the Galloway Red Deer Range. Visitors to the Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival can expect to see otters, badgers, pine martens, mountain hares, red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild goats, grey seals and porpoises.

Red squirrels can be seen in most of the area’s woodlands and forests, but are most likely to be seen at the feeding stations which have been set up for them. The re-introduction to the area of approximately 100 red kites since 2001has been successful and, although they can be rather secretive during the breeding season, there is a good chance of spotting these splendid birds in the wild.

Events focusing on bird watching include the “Birds of Prey Day” at the Kippford Holiday Park. Participants in the “What’s that Duck?” event will be accompanied by WWT experts in the WWT Wetlands Center to identify ducks, geese and swans that winter in the area. Participants in “Wings on Wheels” will travel by minibus to some of the top birding sites in Dumfries and Galloway which are especially noted for a wide variety of wading birds and wildfowl. There will also be a “Red Kite Feeding Station Open Day” where the dedicated Red Kite team will be on hand to answer questions and allow visitors to see these amazing birds up close. Drumlanrig Castle visitor’s center will be hosting “Feathered Friends”, a workshop where participants will assist in making feeders and nesting boxes.

Other events include “Magical Meadows” – a hunt for bugs and other creatures that reside in the meadows. Visitors can watch wild badgers feeding outside the WWT Wetland Centre in “Stars and Stripes”, and “Hatchery Open Day” invites visitors to learn about the entire hatchery process of Salmon. The local bat group has organized informative slide shows and evening walks through bat-territory. “Discover Mabie Nature Reserve” takes visitors through one of the region’s richest wildlife sites.

The Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival is a celebration of Scotland’s biodiversity at its very best – and everyone is invited.