Celebrate the life and work of Donald Watson with new walk and art trail

The life and work of artist Donald Watson has been brought to life through a new walk and art Trail around The Glenkens.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 3:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 3:31 pm
Professor Roger Crofts with one of the Watson Art Trail signs
Professor Roger Crofts with one of the Watson Art Trail signs

Donald (1918-2005) was most famous for his accurate depiction of birds and their habitat setting. He contributed to more than 30 books, with much of his most famous work being based in the landscape of the Glenkens.

The Watson Bird Project is an initiative of Roger Crofts with Chris Rollie, the Watson family and Glenkens Community & Arts Trust.

It aims to link birds, nature and the arts as a celebration of Donald’s work following activities including scientific talks, arts events and guided walks, together with an ongoing installation in the Balmaclellan Smiddy and an exhibition on show in the CatStrand.

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The Donald Watson Walk starts at the Dalry Town Hall and is an approximately two hour-long walk around St John’s Town of Dalry, drawing on inspirations for Watson’s work.

The Watson Art Trail, again starting and finishing at Dalry Town Hall, allows participants to visit nine sites around the Glenkens that either feature in or inspired some of Donald’s most famous paintings.

The route brochure and leaflets are available at www.watsonbirds.org, CatStrand, retail outlets in The Glenkens or looking at the signs at Dalry Town Hall.

The two trails were funded in partnership by the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme and Blackcraig Wind Farm Community Fund.

Professor Crofts, director of the Watson Bird Project, said: “I’m delighted the trail markers and interpretation boards have now been installed. This makes tangible the information provided in the two brochures.

"I hope residents and visitors alike will gain new insights into the changing landscape of The Glenkens and be stimulated into producing their own response in whatever medium they prefer, such as a photo, painting, sketch, poem, prose, music.

“This work could not have been completed without the financial input from the Blackcraig fund and Galloway Glens, plus the support of many farmers, land and property owners for the placement of the signs, and the willing help of Galloway Glens staff.”