Children’s Competition 2017: Entry is now closed and the 31 entries are being read by the judges. The winners will be announced late October / early November.
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.
Paths and Access update – posted 25 October 2017: The full 3 mile circuit of the loch path and boardwalk is fully open and not too bad underfoot despite all the wet weather. The volunteers have been patching the farm track and castle approach over the last few weeks, and put in drainage pipes on the grassland path dip that often flooded, making them a lot better. There are still muddy sections around the grassland at the southern end of the loch, particularly after heavy rain, passable with wellies/walking footwear, but harder going for buggies, mobility scooters and outdoor wheelchairs. 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.
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.