Red Kite Feeding Station Nature Trail

Red Kite Feeding Station Nature Trail

Name of organisation/business: 
Bellymack Farm
Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS), £50,000 over five years
Scottish Rural Development Programme priority: 
Protecting and improving the natural environment
Contact details: 
Anne Johnstone 0164445020



What are the aims of your project?

The project's aims were to make a visit to the Red Kite Feeding Station more appealing to visitors and give them more to do whilst there. A new path, nature trail, signage, pond and picnic benches were constructed. The project has achieved its aim of providing more facilities for visitors. The views from the top of the hill are magnificent.    

How did your project achieve these aims?

My contractor walked up to the top of the hill - which provides fantastic views towards New Galloway - with me to plan the best route for the planned path up the hill.  He also gave me lots of advice on where to put drains and culverts to stop the gravel from being washed away.   

Who’s involved?

Richard Huston Farm Business Services, Lockerbie was responsible for all the paperwork. Ian B Aitchison carried out the digger work and provided practical advice on path design and Arthur Kenworthy, who took photographs of the area which helped design the lay out of the path.

How was the project funded?

SRDP funded, with a huge thank you.

Where did you go for help and advice?

Richard Huston Farm Business Services, Lockerbie for help and advice on required paperwork, Ian B Aitchison for designing the winding path and making drains and culverts to stop the water washing the gravel away.  Also Arthur Kenworthy for his great photography on the site before and after the work was carried out.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

It is not what I have achieved – The kites tell their own story with help from Calum Murray R.S.P.B Liaison Officer also Chris Packham, Bill Bailey and last but the very best Ben Fogle.  He was a pure gentleman and spent a lot of time with the children.

And the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was the weather.  Contractor, Ian Aitchison repaired the path after a very heavy rainfall at no extra cost. I also kept the work men happy during bad weather by providing them with loads of tea and cake. 

Any tips for those setting up a similar project?

When constructing a path, go to the highest point where your path will lead and plan the construction by following the contours of the ground, ensuring the path has lovely curves making it a nice winding walk. It is also a good practice to photograph the area to show you the best views and where to plot the path plan by looking at the photos. Remember to take photos once your project is complete so you can display the before and after for visitors.

What’s next for your project?

My next projects include:

  • to provide more room for photographers at the Kite Feeding Station
  • construct an education area separate from the main centre
  • I would like to landscape the road leading up to the Kite Feeding Station and build a bridge across the burn for primary school pupils to look at nature, wild flowers and trees