Just launched and running all spring and summer – Children’s Short Story Writing Competition –
Write a story featuring Castle Loch of no more than 500 words – the only limit is your imagination. Download all the guidelines and entry form here – 2020_writing_competition_castle_loch
25/3/20: Fishing Closed
Please be aware that the Water Bailiffs, who run the fishing at Castle Loch, have now closed the site to fishing until further notice
Dear Castle Loch Supporter,
I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that all volunteering, gatherings and events at Castle Loch are now on hold until these tricky times pass. This is of course disappointing, particularly as the loch has become such a fun and social thing to be part of, but we must all keep safe and do our bit to get through this unprecedented situation. The loch, woods and cottage will all still be there when the restrictions are eased.
Presently the nature reserve remains open and can be used in line with the government’s strict curbs, notably ‘People may only leave home to exercise once a day’, but all the social-distancing advice must be followed – walking only with household members, keeping 2m (6ft) apart from others, not going out if a high risk group or exhibiting symptoms. However, do keep an eye on the daily news as the situation is very fluid and changing all the time.
On a more positive note, the volunteers made cracking progress in the new woodland before the restrictions came in. A vast swathe of the dominant rhododendron was cleared and we now have the line of the final stretch of footpath marked out, waiting for our return when we will create the formal path and open it to the public. On the nature front, Spring is now starting to burst out with catkins once again on the willow, bluebell leaves and ramsons (wild garlic) pushing through, the winter wildfowl leaving and it can’t be long before we hear our first chiffchaff; back from wintering in the sub-Sahara. The great-spotted woodpeckers are also busy drumming – marking their territory and looking for a mate.
We are also going to be getting the children’s writing competition up and running and launching very soon. This is much earlier than the usual summer run and might be of interest to family members or people you know that are now being home schooled.
Keep safe everyone, and, as always, a big thank you for all your help and support with the Castle Loch project.
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 13th May 2020:
All paths are currently open and dry. Please observe social distancing and all current government restrictions on movement. The loch side marker by Lochfield Cottage on the Lockerbie Road side has now been replaced and indicates if the boardwalk is passable.
Volunteering activities (currently suspended):
1st Saturday and 3rd Thursday each month, also helpers needed for planning and running numerous events during the year. Email email@example.com if you want to be added to the volunteers’ list.
Winner of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018
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, located between Lockerbie and Dumfries on the A709 (DG11 1LP / NY 085815). 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.
Kindly supported by: