THREE very unusual and intriguing sculptures near Wigtown have led to much speculation as to their purpose.
The three wooden posts topped with stones attached by wire are to be found on the path to the Martyrs’ Stake, but with no information on site many people are wondering what they are all about.
Thankfully, Elizabeth Tindall, Dumfries and Galloway Council countryside ranger provided the answer. She explained that the “Geese Stanes”, as the sculptures are called, represent the three types of geese that migrate to Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve each year from Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard, and each stone comes from the area they represent. And, yes, it’s it meant to be intriguing!
Elizabeth said: “Three very different stones have migrated to Wigtown Bay. Each is the same weight as the geese they represent.
“Artist Will Marshall was commissioned to create a work of art telling a story about Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve. He chose goose migration as his theme and what started as a simple path improvement project has blossomed and become a chance not just to upgrade a path but to connect Wigtown to the Arctic.
“While improving the railway path at Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s countryside team decided the interpretation in the area should include a work of art which would interpret Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve (LNR).
“Using the popularity of the newly resurfaced path visitors and locals alike were asked what they thought about art and what was important to them about Wigtown Bay LNR and the Martyrs’ Stake area. What was planned as a short 10- to 15-minute survey often took much longer as people were so interested in talking about art and the LNR.
“Wigtown School got involved, learning lots about the six Dumfries and Galloway geese. Longyearbyen skole, the most northerly school in the world, got involved, sending us our ‘Barnacle Goose’ rock from Svalbard in Norway. Caerlaverock School in the inner Solway also got involved as barnacle geese are their geese too. Using GLOW (Scottish Schools Internet) the three schools ‘met’ to talk about their shared geese and what school life in Scotland and Norway is like. The Wigtown pupils were impressed by Norwegian pupils seeing polar bears and going to school on snow mobiles!
“The migration art works were unveiled on the railway path at Wigtown at the end of April, just as Wigtown Bay’s geese left to become Arctic geese once again.
“The art work will remind us of them for the summer until they return once more.”
Barnacle geese are represented by a stone from Svalbard, Greylag geese by a stone from Iceland and Pinkfoot geese by a stone from Greenland. Each of the stones weighs between 1500 and 3100 grammes
For more information please contact Elizabeth Tindall DGC’s ranger at email@example.com or 07702212728.