Brigton – Caldons Wood
The Minnoch and the Water of Trool are fast flowing tributaries of the River Cree which pass through conifer plantations of the Galloway Forest Park. In both of these sites there has been significant redesign of the riparian conifer plantations.
The areas under modification stretch from Brigton, west of the Minnoch site, to Caldons wood, to the east of the Water of Trool.
Approximately 100 hectares of sitka spruce plantation has been removed and in its place there is a mosaic of open habitat and 55 hectares of newly planted broadleaves.
To the west of Caldons wood, approximately 20 hectares of Sitka spruce, which occupied areas of former ancient semi-natural woodland, has been removed to permit natural regeneration of the old woodlands.
The riparian corridors have been planted with Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and have been protected with small plastic tubes to prevent vole damage.
New access through the former forest sites has been established from Brigton to the Holm farm, as an alternative route for the Southern Upland Way (SUW). The SUW continues from the Holm farm parallel with the Water of Trool to Caldons Wood.
An interpretation board is present near Stroan Bridge close to the Forestry Commission Visitor Centre.
Patches of ancient semi-natural woodland occur along these two river corridors. In some of the sites formerly occupied by conifer plantations there is significant regeneration of rowan, hawthorn, ash, holly and occasional oak.
Black Grouse have returned to some of the former ‘lekking’ areas. Tree pipits are common during the summer months and Mallard have started to breed in wet areas of the former forests.
The river systems support breeding dipper and goosander and there are small colonies of river bank breeding sand martins.
- Replacement of damaged trees.
- Weeding of conifer seedlings.
- Monitoring of natural regeneration of trees.
- Monitoring of plant and animal communities.