Montane Scrub Demonstration Garden

If you have recently visited the car park at the FCS Glentrool visitor centre, you will have seen a walled garden, situated at the start of the mountain bike trails. This garden was designed, partly built (the walls were built by a professional dyker) and planted by Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust volunteers as part of the Amwood (Action for Mountain Woodlands) Project. Work on this project is being carried out in several parts of Scotland to undertake habitat restoration and raise awareness of this important and neglected habitat. The garden is a representation in miniature of an area of mountain woodland, and is planted with an assortment of plants which grow in this habitat such as dwarf willows and juniper. Interpretation has been provided to explain how these plants have adapted to life in these harsh conditions.

For the more energetic, a walk up the Merrick will find a demonstration site which has been planted with downy willow (Salix lapponum) and aspen by CVCWT volunteers to produce a `woodland fringe’. Rowan has also been planted where the conifers have been removed. These will produce a gradually thinning scattering of trees which provide a transition from woodland to moorland. Pockets of this habitat still exist on inaccessible crags in the Galloway Hills, away from grazing sheep and goats and protected from the worst effects of moorland fires.