Kirkdale Estate sits within the part of Galloway awarded UNESCO Biosphere status, which means it is internationally recognised as a world class environment for people and nature.
The Estate runs from the hills down to the shoreline with far reaching sea views across the spectacular Solway Firth to the Isle of Man. Kirkdale also overlooks the Wigtown Bay Nature Reserve, the largest local nature reserve in Britain offering sea fishing and bird watching opportunities.
Galloway Forest Park is on the doorstep and received Gold Tier Dark Sky Park Status from the International Dark Sky Association due to the exceptional quality of the night sky.
The Fleet Valley National Scenic Area is also on the doorstep. Situated around picturesque Gatehouse of Fleet it offers stunning scenery and is where Richard Hannay ran away to Galloway and is where Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” was filmed.
Kirkdale Estate has sustainable farming, forestry, holiday cottages, long term lets and a recently installed hydro electric power scheme which powers Kirkdale House. We are undertaking long term native tree and hedgerow planting and working on a programme of restoring and maintaining the beautiful original Galloway dry stane dykes.
The shoreline of the Estate is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) due to its rare lichens and ancient woodlands. The mixed broadleaf woodlands comprise oak, beech, hazel, ash, elm, sycamore, goat willow, grey willow, alder, birch and hawthorn. Stunning ancient willow trees can be found in the sand along the shoreline. The native hedgerows comprise hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, beech, holly and wild rose.
We have recently undertaken a large programme of tree and hedgerow planting.
In 2021 we completed a new 130m long hedgerow at Barncroft leading to the new Kirkdale Estate lodges.
We have also planted a new woodland next to Carsluith Castle on the approach to the lodges. The woodland comprises hazel, oak, wild gean cherry, beech and scots pine.
A new avenue of birch trees has been created leading to the lodges and a new row of wild gean cherry has been planted alongside the lodges.
We have an ongoing programme of dry stane dyke repairing and maintenance.
We are very much looking forward to seeing the new woodlands, avenues, trees and hedgerows flourish and grow over the coming years.
The Estate is a haven for wildlife and birds. Recent sightings have included stoat, red squirrel, hare, otters and deer. We have greater spotted woodpeckers, peregrine falcons, buzzards, oyster catchers, a little egret, to name a few. Ospreys nest across the bay.
The area is steeped in history – please see our About page for more information.