Loch Ken is the largest body of freshwater in Southern Scotland and is in a stunningly beautiful part of our region – with the Galloway Dark Sky Park on the doorstep and forming part of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Unesco Biosphere.
Tourism is one of the most important industries and the Loch Ken Alive project has the ambition to make this part of Galloway at the heart of our tourism offer.
This week, Barnaby Fryer starts in post as the Loch Ken Alive officer, aiming to capitalise on the presence of the Loch to drive sustainable economic growth.
Barnaby will be working closely with the Loch Ken Management Advisory Committee (soon to be relaunched as the Loch Ken Trust) to co-ordinate input from stakeholders round the Loch to draft an up to date management plan, launch a dedicated website and organise a series of festivals and events in the area in coming years.
The Loch Ken Alive project is a partnership between the Loch Ken Trust and the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, and will be working with other partners including VisitScotland. The timing of Barnaby’s appointment is perfect, with 2020 being Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Water.
Barnaby said: “It’s a really exciting project which will make Loch Ken and its surrounding communities better, for visitors and locals alike.
“First though, we’d really love to know what you think. Do you regularly visit Loch Ken? Or have you never been at all? What do you think is great already, and what could be done better? What would you most like to see on or around the loch?
“As part of developing a new Loch Ken Management Plan, I want to hear from as many people as possible. I’m based with the Galloway Glens team in their Castle Douglas offices, but I’ll be getting out and about round Loch Ken and communities in the coming weeks. If you see me, please come and say hello and tell me your views or email me.”
If you’d like to know more about the ‘Loch Ken Alive’ project, get in touch with Barnaby on firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Smith, the new Chairman of the Loch Ken Advisory Management Committee, said: “I’m really excited about the appointment of Barnaby as the new Loch Ken Alive Project Manager. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes and getting Barnaby in post will kick-start some of the projects we have been thinking about. I know he’s looking forward to getting started and meeting everyone interested in the future of Loch Ken. Exciting times ahead!”
Ed Forrest, of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, added: “Loch Ken Alive offers the opportunity to bring together businesses, recreation and the environment to promote the Loch and surrounding communities as a key destination of international significance in our UNESCO Biosphere.”
Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens Project Officer, also said: “Loch Ken Alive is one of our flagship Galloway Glens projects, and we’re looking forward to seeing it revitalise the area on and around Loch Ken, which is surely one of Scotland’s best kept secrets.”
Picture: Alan Smith, chairman of Loch Ken Advisory Management Committee, left, with Barnaby Fryer Loch Ken Alive Officer. Picture Galloway Glens Scheme.