glenkens

Historic Tour of the Glenkens through maps and birdsong

The latest in the series of talks from the Dumfries Archival Mapping Project (DAMP) comes to the CatStrand in New Galloway next Wednesday (29th).

Led by Peter Cowdrey of Planet Birdsong and Archie McConnel from DAMP, the event will lead attendees on a journey from Carsphairn to Loch Ken using a selection of maps – old and new – discussing what they tell us about the landscape and the birdsong that would have accompanied a traveller at the time.

Lapwing.

Peter and Archie will lay down a structure for the evening taking a route over old maps and discussing the bird populations there once were and what there is now.

This will be supported by a panel of experts including Chris Rollie (ex-RSPB), Patrick Laurie (farmer, author and artist) and Professor Roger Crofts (ex-CEO of Scottish Natural Heritage). The panel will add their opinions, and the audience will be encouraged to contribute as well,

The Dumfries Archival Mapping Project activities are being supported by the Galloway Glens Scheme, a Natural Lottery Heritage Fund funded scheme of projects taking place up and down the Ken/Dee valley in the Stewartry.

The event starts at 7.30pm in the Catstrand in New Galloway. Entry will be free but a hat will be held out at the end in aid of Planet Birdsong and DAMP. No booking is required.

Speaking ahead of the event, Archie McConnel from DAMP said: “This should be a fun, interesting and thought-provoking evening. For those that do not know, DAMP enjoys and encourages audience participation in their events and this will not be any different.

Part of Carsphairn to Loch Ken route.

“All the panellists will bring different points of view and different expertise to the discussion from landscape and maps to birds and bird song. As the landscape changes so the populations of various species of bird rise and fall. This happens due to manmade influences and has been happening for many centuries. It is not a recent phenomenon and the chosen maps will show this.”

Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens Project Officer, said: “Our landscape has been managed and changed by industrial and agricultural practice for several thousand years. The last few hundred years of this change have been recorded on maps and in written records.

“This changing landscape created a changing soundscape. This is an opportunity to close your eyes and let your ears hear the sounds of birds in the 18th century and the changes over the decades as we move into the 21st century.”

Picture: Dumfries Archival Mapping Project