Tesco Bag of Help Funding – A big thank you to all of you who voted at the local Tesco’s in the Tesco Bags of Help contest. You helped us win £7,000 for maintaining the paths and creation of learning facilities. Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags.
Dogs: Just a gentle reminder to please pick up after your dogs. Recently the children’s forest school areas have had a lot of dog mess left, including on the actual log seats. These areas are used regularly by the local nursery and school children. There are numerous bins around the site, car parks, lay-bys and Lochfield Cottage, with the longest stretch without a bin around the grassland, but it isn’t that far. Thank you for your help with this.
Paths and Access update – posted 4 February 2018: The water level continues to drop and the path and boardwalk are no longer swamped. The water is lapping at the top of the boardwalk, plus there is a very wet section just over the bridge over Vallison Burn – passable with wellies/outdoor boots. All of the wooden fishing piers remain inaccessible due to the water level, but the stone ones are now clear.
The volunteers have been patching the farm track and the castle approach over the last few weeks, plus put in a wedge for keeping open the swing gate out on to the castle drive (this was requested to help those pushing buggies). There are still muddy sections around the grassland at the southern end of the loch, but passable with wellies / walking footwear, but harder going for buggies, mobility scooters and outdoor wheelchairs. We’ve put in a loch side marker near Lochfield Cottage which shows if the water level will be covering the castle approach boardwalk, which saves you walking 1.5 miles and then having to turn back! There are accessible viewing platforms at the loch side car park on the Lockerbie road side and 4th lay-by along the Dalton road side. Lochfield Cottage now has an access ramp.
Volunteering activities: 1st Saturday and 3rd Thursday each month, also helpers during summer weekend afternoons to help staff the pop-up visitor centre at the loch side cottage. No volunteering on 18th January.
Winner of the Third Sector D&G VOSCARS – Environmental and the overall Volunteer Involving Organisation 2017
Winner of RSPB Nature of Scotland Community Initiative 2015
Winner of DG Life ‘People of the Year’ Award 2014
Welcome to Castle Loch, the largest and shallowest of the lochs in Lochmaben, Dumfries & Galloway. The site is one of the earliest Local Nature Reserves (LNR) and also a site of national and international importance for its birdlife with a whole list of designations, including Site of Scientific Interest, Ramsar Site and Special Protected Area. The loch is a fine location to visit at any time of the year, offering fine opportunities to see bird and wildlife, take walk, fish or take to the waters under sail. The site offers the chance to see breeding Willow Tit at their northern reaches, however it comes into its own during the winter season with the migration of Pink-footed Geese from Iceland and Greenland, along with Greylag Geese and Goosanders.
The ruins of Lochmaben Castle are found on promontory at the south end of the loch and offer an added attraction to experience first-hand the important historical connections of the area. The castle is a former stronghold of the Bruce family and is reckoned to be the best example of an Edwardian (Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots) Peel left in Scotland.
In 2013 the Castle Loch was put up for sale. The Castle Loch Advisory Committee provided the basis of a local Community Trust whose aim was to purchase the Castle Loch and its environs for the Community. The steering committee successfully raised the funds needed and Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust (CLLCT) took ownership of the site in January 2014.
Other recreational facilities located on the edge of the loch are the beautiful Victory Park, a bowling green and all weather tennis courts. There is an attractive path round most of the loch, which passes Lochmaben Castle and a Bird Hide, returning to the town on a quiet lane with fine views over the water and hills. Numerous fishing piers are found along the Lochmaben to Dalton road side of the loch, while a gently sloping path down to the lochside fishing pier, enabling wheelchair users to fish at the loch, is at the A709 car park. Annandale Sailing Club is a small friendly club and the loch can provide both sheltered waters for the nervous beginner or an interesting test for those who appreciate the subtleties of inland racing. Please note that the only motorised craft allowed on the loch are those of the Sailing Club rescue boats and Water Bailiff.