Sensory benches to encourage appreciation of nature

Two artists working woth local organisations have overseen the installation of 30 benches designed to allow people to tune in to the surrounding landscape of the Biosphere and Dark Sky Park.

Thursday, 9th January 2014, 11:11 am
Some of the 30 benches in place across the area.

Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have been working with locally based environmental art organisation, Wide Open, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage to create Rosnes Benches which were installed by land artist Jim Buchannan.

The form of each bench evokes a long history of objects designed around the human form. They also acknowledge the history of the deliberate placing and siting of objects within the landscape, from cup and ring marks on constellations of recumbent stones across the whole of Europe and beyond, to contemporary cairns marking high summit points throughout our hills.

Much work has gone into finding the perfect locations for the benches, which aim to create a sensory experience for those lying on them such as slowing people down, creating stillness, and changing a viewpoint.

Keith Muir, Head of Tourism, Galloway Forest Park said: “Galloway Forest Park is one of the best places in Scotland to experience the great outdoors and the new benches will enhance that experience. Visitors to the park will be able to get closer to nature and tune in to the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere from a completely different perspective. In particular, the benches will offer a fantastic view of the night sky and the thousands of stars visible from the park.

“We’re all so busy with our lives and modern technology that we forget to stop and take in our natural surroundings. Encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors is at the heart of what we do at Galloway Forest Park and we hope the benches will help people to slow down and truly appreciate nature.”

The project has been developed in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage with investment from Leader Dumfries and Galloway, Creative Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

You can find the benches at The Otter Pool (Raiders Road); Glentrool; Stinchar Bridge; two sites in Kirroughtree (on the lade trail and also near the anniversary cairn); Clatteringshaws; Cairnsmore (near the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct); Waterhead, McMoab; Cally Woods, Loch Dee and Caldons.

See for full details.