A new 64-mile coastal path in the south of Scotland is to be created.
The route, taking in the clifftop scenery of Scotland’s most southerly tip, will be built thanks to funding announced today by the National Lottery.
The Rhins of Galloway Coast Path will be walking route from the Mull of Galloway to Loch Ryan encouraging visitors to explore and enjoy the rich natural and cultural heritage of the peninsula.
With National Lottery funding of £662,800, the route will be developed by connecting and repairing existing paths along the coastline as well as introducing new paths, signage, viewpoints, seating and interpretation for visitors.
Communities along the route will be encouraged to get involved through a programme of arts, photography, song writing and wildlife activities. Local volunteers will also be trained to record and monitor local archaeological sites and help maintain the trail.
The area has a strong connection with Christianity with the Kirkmadrine Stones and three of the oldest Christian memorials in Scotland dating to 500AD. Its cliffs, sheltered coves and beaches, with views to Ireland, the Isle of Man and Ailsa Craig, provide habitats for a number of important wildflowers and nesting birds such as Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar and Kittiwake.
Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, Lucy Casot, said: ‘The Rhins of Galloway is, to a large extent, unexplored by many yet it’s scenery is spectacular. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we’re delighted to support a project which will encourage people of all ages and abilities to get outdoors and experience the beauty of this area.
‘What’s good for the local tourist economy and is also good for the soul.’
Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, Archie Dryburgh, said: ‘Dumfries and Galloway is such a beautiful part of the country with so much scenery and nature around us. We are delighted with the announcement of funding from the heritage lottery fund.
‘It will enable a beautiful new walking route to be developed in the Rhins of Galloway.
‘It is such a spectacular part of our region which we will be able to share with lots of visitors who will get to experience the beauty of our region for themselves.
‘Building our local economy is a priority for our council, so this funding will allow us to invest in the unique heritage and beauty we have on our doorstep and promote it to more visitors who can come and enjoy what we have to offer here in Dumfries and Galloway.’
Another walk in the area, the Whithorn Way, is a 149 mile walking trail from Glasgow to Whithorn, following the pilgrimage route, which has just recently been completed.