Walk to Neilson’s Monument
This 1.1km walk starts from the car park at Barstobrick Visitor Centre, where there is an interpretative board and Stickety Lickety Teahouse for refreshments and cooked meals. The teahouse is part of a visitor centre, set in tranquil and attractive surroundings. This land has recently been re-developed to improve wildlife in and around excavated ponds open enclave on the edge of Galloway Forest Park. The walk affords panoramic views of the Galloway Kite Trail and feeding station (3 miles to the north) as well as southwards beyond the A75 road.
Please note that the Centre is currently closed but is due to re-open on Good Friday, 3 April 2015.
View and interpretation on the walk to Neilson's Monument
A map & information leaflet can be obtained from the visitor centre staff, for trail paths around Barstobrick.
Kites and buzzards are often seen soaring on air thermals and updrafts on the hill side or hunting for small prey and carrion over pastures. Occasionally, golden eagle has been spotted rising on thermals above Barstobrick Hill. This area is a regular spot for stonechat, goldfinch, linnet and yellowhammer, found throughout the year. Whaup (curlew), a few lapwing and snipe usually breed in the area, as do wheatear and a range of common woodland birds. The wetland and reed beds are ideal places for moorhen, water rail, reed bunting and sedge warbler, which breed here.
> Red squirrels inhabit Henryshill Wood.
> Butterflies: common blue, ringlet, orange tip, meadowbrown,
> Plants: ragged robin (emblem flower of Kirkcudbrightshire), heath spotted orchid, birdsfoot trefoil, harebell, bluebell
> Dragonflies: common darter, golden ringed, common hawker, common blue damselfly
> History of Queenshill – one of last places Mary Queen of Scots saw in Scotland before her flee south to England where, seeking aid from her 2nd cousin Elizabeth I, she was imprisoned and later executed.
> James Beaumont Neilson – inventor of the hot blasting process used in smelting coal, a Victorian monument
How to get there
Barstobrick lies on the A762 some 3 miles south of Laurieston. There is a car park opposite the visitor centre, where there is an interpretative room and a very affordable Neilson’s Restaurant, which provides good home baking and excellent meals. There are several, easy short walks which are wheel chair accessible, around the ponds near to the car park. The moderate walk to Neilson’s Monument is slightly further and may be uneven or muddy underfoot. This path is not suitable for wheelchair access. A leaflet can be obtained at the Centre, but may cost a small charge.