Groups asked to find use for Glenhead

Glenhead Farmhouse and outbuildings. Photo: Valerie Harrison
Glenhead Farmhouse and outbuildings. Photo: Valerie Harrison

OBJECTORS to plans by Forestry Commission Scotland to demolish the historic Glenhead dwelling two miles from Loch Trool are being asked to find an alternative use for the building before it meets its end.

The nearby land was the scene of the Battle of Glentrool in 1307 and has also recently been identified as having connections to another battle.

Residents and historians say the Forestry Commission’s terms for lease are unrealistic, and that its fate is inevitable.

Jim and Francie Bainbridge from Glentrool say the Commission have neglected the building for years, and that they have mistreated it recently.

In a recent letter to the editor. they said: “Their insensitivity to such a classic Galloway farmhouse was demonstrated recently when they blocked up all the windows and dors with breeze blocks which was to us no less than vandalism.

“Unlike in the Highlands and Islands there is hardly any hostel accomodation on the coast to coast Southern Upland Way. Is demolition of the only suitable place on this section of the walk any kind of answer?”

No date has yet been set for the demolition, and Forestry Commission say the state of the building and its location are putting people off taking it on.

A spokesman said: “Forestry Commission Scotland has tried several times to interest outdoor activity organisations and tourism businesses in taking a lease of the building but to no avail. Organisations are reluctant to take on the high costs of repair and maintenance of the building which also suffers poor access.

“Sale on the open market has also been considered, but the 2km access is a rough forest track that does not meet the standards required of a domestic property and its primary use is for walkers and visitors to the Glentrool oakwoods and Loch Trool at the centre of the Galloway Forest Park.

“The Commission cannot continue to keep the property on its books as it is a burden to the taxpayer. As a sale or commercial lease is not an option then demolition is the most likely option. We have however offered local community organisations an opportunity to lease the building before moves are taken to actually demolish.”