Galloway’s forest tourism in the spotlight

Kirroughtree'NX452646'Pic Peter Devlin
Kirroughtree'NX452646'Pic Peter Devlin

Forest Enterprise Scotland is in line for two Scottish Thistle Awards for its work promoting forest tourism in Galloway.

Galloway Forest Park has been shortlisted in the Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience and Keith Muir, Forest Enterprise Scotland’s local tourism manager, is up for a Regional Ambassador award.

The Scottish Thistle Awards are organised by VisitScotland and celebrate the “shining stars” of the tourism and hospitality sector.

The nominations for the awards are put forward by members of the public and are broken down into five regional finals.

Keith Muir, Tourism Manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland in Galloway said: “This is great news for the area. Being shortlisted alone is a great achievement by everyone involved in making Galloway Forest Park a great and memorable place to go.

“We have invested heavily in upgrading our facilities and staff are very enthusiastic in making the park a welcoming place. The businesses running the services at our three visitor centres are also doing a great job in providing a quality service.

“I am very pleased for everyone that their efforts are being recognised in this way. I’d like to wish all those in the area who have been nominated the best of luck.”

Galloway Forest Park is well over 5,000 square kilometers in size and is the biggest forest park in the UK. The park is a major draw to its 906,000 visitors each year who go to enjoy the wildlife, views, peace and quiet or active adventures such as mountain biking or hill walking.

The area is also Scotland’s only Dark Sky Park – and the first to be awarded in Europe. Keith Muir has been instrumental in taking forward many of the recreation projects found in the park and spearheaded the process of it being declared a Dark Sky Park.