Lockerbie Wildlife Trust (LWT)
Lockerbie Wildlife Trust (LWT)Scottish Charity Number - SC005538

Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and Eskrigg Reserve

Lockerbie Wildlife Trust manages Eskrigg Reserve and runs an annual programme of talks, visits and workshops relating to wildlife and conservation for members, schools and other interested parties.

Eskrigg Reserve and the adjacent woodland walks offer visitors the opportunity to relax in peaceful surroundings and observe or photograph the resident fungi, flora and fauna. Some may prefer to be a bit more energetic and explore a range of habitats, walk their dogs or try out the mountain bike trail.

The Reserve is open all year round. Why not come along and see for yourself or book in for any of the organised activities?

If you would like to support
Lockerbie Wildlife Trust

just click on the button below:







Star Species

Objects of the Trust

  • To encourage wildlife conservation.
  • To manage such conservation sites as the Trust accepts responsibility for.
  • To promote the education and understanding of all age groups regarding local wildlife and its management.
  • To encourage the use of Trust properties for educative recreation.
  • To do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them.

Lockerbie Wildlife Trust was established in September 1988 and was granted charitable status in November 1989.
Scottish Charity Number - SC005538

The History of Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and Eskrigg Reserve

Introduction
The Eskrigg Reserve is on the site of an old curling pond. It occupies 7 acres (2.83 hectares) and contains a mixture of habitats including mixed woodland, grassland, heathland, willow carr, sedge bed, reed bed, stream and pond each with its own associated flora and fauna. There is coniferous woodland to the north and west with a rich deciduous understory, permanent grassland to the east and marshland to the south. Notable animal species include Red Squirrel, Willow Tit, Little Grebe, Kingfisher and Tawny Owl. You will also find the rare Adder’s Tongue Fern there.

In the beginning, 1986 - 1989
Jim Rae learned of the old curling pond from a pupil in 1986, when he was Principal Teacher of Biology at the local secondary school in Lockerbie. After visiting the site, he was impressed by the range of habitats in such a small area, but noticed that one of the habitats, a monoculture of reed-grass, covered more than three acres and supported a very limited fauna. The pond had been drained and the natural succession of vegetation over many years had eliminated all open water. Jim quickly realised that, by digging out much of the reed-grass and repairing the sluice gate, a pond could be re-established thereby increasing the biodiversity and, at the same time, creating a resource for the local community, including his Natural Resources class at the school.  

He explained his ideas to Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine, owner of Castle Milk Estate, then applied for, and was granted in January 1987, a joint one-year lease of the curling pond with the then shooting tenant Henry Strath.  Jim spent the following year seeking advice and assistance from many experts in the field of conservation. He arranged a survey of the area to determine future water levels. With the assistance of Mary Martin (Regional Plant Recorder) and Elizabeth Kungu (expert on mosses), he identified as many plants and animals as possible and drew up a potential management plan.  

In August 1987, Jim started a Conservation Class at Lockerbie Academy and together they discussed and worked on the management plan. They also organised a sponsored cycle run to raise the funds needed for digging out the pond.  

In September 1987, a public meeting was held at Lockerbie Academy at which Jim Rae explained the draft plans to interested members of the local community.   His plans received overwhelming approval and that evening a Local Support Group was set up. At the first meeting of the support group, in October 1987, the members decided to form the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and to name the old curling site Eskrigg Reserve.

Jim Rae took on the sole lease of the pond site for a year in 1988 and, throughout the spring of that year, continued his research, obtained estimates for digging out the pond and, in discussion with members of the support group, determined the objects of the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust.  In May 1988, a local firm (Dalgliesh Brothers) dug out the pond area creating islands and banks, the sluice was repaired, an overflow pipe (donated by Express Cheese Factory) was installed and the pond area flooded.   Within a month there was good growth on the islands and a wide variety of wildlife in the pond.   In the summer of '88, eight weeks of dry weather resulted in the pond drying up.   This helped to determine the future management policy for the site.   In June, pupils from Lockerbie Academy erected two bird-watching hides.

In September 1988, the inaugural meeting of the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust was held and a programme of talks, visits, workshops and fund-raising events was organised for the year ahead.   Over the next year, Academy pupils, former pupils, Scouts, Cubs and students from the Barony College helped Trust members with clearing, construction and maintenance work.

In January 1989, the lease for the pond site was transferred to Lockerbie Wildlife Trust for an initial term of ten years, subject to review after five. The pond site then became officially recognised as Eskrigg Reserve.   Throughout '89 Jim Rae consulted widely and drafted a Constitution for the Trust.

1989 - 2009
Jim continued to manage Eskrigg Reserve for the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust, during his spare time, over the next 20 years. He received a lot of support from the local community and members of the Trust. The reserve and adjacent woodland was an ideal site for biological fieldwork with his science classes. He organised many different wildlife workshops and events, particularly for local youngsters. A number of social events, including a wedding, woodland fair and a concert, were also held at the reserve.

In spring 2008, the first Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival was organised. Although the Easter activities at Eskrigg were not on the official festival programme, they continued to prove popular with local children. In the summer of 2008, Jim organised the first of the now annual Wildlife Weekends at Eskrigg. Over one weekend in the summer holidays, the Trust runs a range of workshops for both children and adults. These include pond dipping, small mammal trapping, moth trapping, wild food foray and bird or bat box workshops. Fungal forays and den building were included in the autumn activities.

2009 - 2012
IIn August 2009, Jim retired from teaching at Lockerbie Academy in order to oversee the building of the Eskrigg Centre. This timber building has wheelchair access. It contains a viewing area with four windows overlooking the pond and another four facing the trees and wildlife feeders on either side making it ideal for wildlife observation and photography. Also included is a comfortable reading area with access to the latest wildlife magazines and leaflets. By arrangement with the Reserve Manager, there is secure area that can be opened up to convert the hide into a small classroom, lecture hall or research laboratory as required. Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine opened the Eskrigg Centre in April 2010.

Since then, Jim and the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust have contributed to the Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival, assisted with the Wild Seasons initiative to educate people about the wonderful wildlife in our area and helped promote Dumfries and Galloway as a prime venue for nature tourism. From 2012, Eskrigg activities were listed in the D & G Wild Seasons programme.

2013 - 2016
In 2013, Lockerbie Wildlife Trust, assisted by Lockerbie and District Rotary Club, marked the 25th Anniversary of Eskrigg Reserve by replacing one of the original bird hides with the new Red Squirrel Hide. This also has disabled access and provides visitors with an excellent opportunity to view and photograph the Red Squirrels and other wildlife.

In 2014, Lockerbie Wildlife Trust started its 'Access For All' project. Castle Milk Estate, Dumfries and Galloway Ranger Service and Lockerbie Wildlife Trust worked together to provide a car park (Phase 1) and hardcore path to the Reserve (Phase 2) allowing safer access for all. These were in place by the end of August.

During 2015, Lockerbie Wildlife Trust proceeded with Phase 3 of the 'Access For All' project and raised funds to purchase and install a NatSol Compost Toilet with disabled access. The underground vault was lowered into place and the timber building was erected above it at the end of April 2016. During May and June, the toilet building was painted and fitted out. A concrete ramp was put in place and the toilet was ready for use at the beginning of July 2016.

Meanwhile, Phase 4 of the 'Access For All' project had already begun - the resurfacing of the Woodland Walks next to the Reserve with gravel in order to facilitate access to the woods. This work will continue over the next few years until there is disabled access to at least one mile of woodland walks.

Membership

Membership of Lockerbie Wildlife Trust is by subscription, renewable annually in September.
At present, each member receives a membership card giving details of
a) The Winter Talks Programme (normally from October to March)
b) The Main Fund-raising Events and
c) The Planned Maintenance Days (normally the last Sunday of each month)

Copies of the monthly Eskrigg Nature Reserve Monthly News Bulletins are available on the website and a copy will be sent to every member who has supplied an email address. Copies are also available for viewing in Eskrigg Centre, Lockerbie Library and the Dryfesdale Lodge Visitors' Centre. Members can enter the Winter Talks for half the normal entry fee and will receive priority booking for seats on any trips. Entry to the A.G.M. (last Wednesday in September) is free.

Trust Meetings and Winter Talks Programme

For details click here

Trips

These usually take place in the early summer (May/June) or early autumn (September/October). Transport depends on the number of people interested - either shared private cars, ATI minibus or hired coach. Each trip is costed independently and the costs shared by those involved. For details of planned trips see 'Activities'.

To become a member

The Trust's financial year begins on the 1st of September and ends on the 31st August the following year. New members may join at any time of the year and will be due to pay an initial sum which is equal to 1/12th of the annual subscription for each month of the financial year remaining. Thereafter they should pay the full membership subscription each September.

Click on 'Membership Application Form', print out a copy, complete the form and then send it, together with the appropriate membership fee to the Membership Secretary as detailed on the form.

Eskrigg Reserve

Eskrigg Reserve is on the site of an old curling pond. It occupies seven acres and contains a mixture of habitats including mixed woodland, grassland, heathland, willow carr, sedge bed, reed bed, stream and pond each with its own associated flora and fauna.
There is coniferous woodland to the north and west with a rich deciduous understory, permanent grassland to the east and marshland to the south.

image thumbnail

You can help look after the reserve if you:

• keep to footpaths
• keep your dog on a lead while within the Nature Reserve
• clean up after your dog
• take your litter home
• respect all wildlife habitats, plants, animals and other visitors
• record any wildlife sightings at Eskrigg Centre

Location

The Reserve is located 1.6 miles (2.57 km) south-west of Lockerbie Town Centre, on the east side of South Turnmuir Plantation.
(OS map ref. N.Y. 126805)

Getting to the Reserve from Lockerbie

Take the A709, Lockerbie to Dumfries road.
Just before leaving Lockerbie, turn left into Vallance Drive and then immediately right on to Eskrigg Farm Road.
Follow the farm road for 400m and the Reserve Car Park is on the right.
Please observe the 10mph speed limit.

Getting to the Reserve from Lochmaben or Dumfries

Take the A709 to Lockerbie.
As you enter the town, take the very first turning on the right into Vallance Drive and then immediately right on to Eskrigg Farm Road. Follow the farm road for 400m and the Reserve Car Park is on the right.
Please observe the 10mph speed limit.

My Image

Reserve Car Park to Reserve

There is a hard-core, all-user path, leading 320m down a gentle slope from the Car Park to the Reserve. The path is fenced off from the fields on either side and is suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and prams. There are 2 small gates near the beginning of the path that may need to be opened and closed when the farmer requires the fields on either side to be linked. When he doesn't, the gates will be open.

Access for those with mobility problems

It is possible, by prior arrangement with the Reserve Manager, to take a car or minibus down the forest road opposite the Dryfesdale Lodge Visitors' Centre to a small parking area within 100m of Eskrigg Centre. The single bar gate at the entrance to the forest road is normally kept locked and parking is not allowed in front of the gate. Access will not be possible when there are forest operations taking place in the woods.

Access by Bus or on Foot

For those travelling by bus, there are bus stops on the Dumfries Road at the end of Vallance Drive. From the bus stop it is a ten-minute walk to the Car Park and another ten-minute walk from the Car Park to the Reserve. The Reserve is roughly forty-five minutes from Lockerbie Town Centre.

Map of Reserve and Woodland Walks

Click on the symbols to view and download the leaflet and map (pdf)

You can help look after the reserve if you:

• keep to footpaths
• keep your dog on a lead while within the Nature Reserve
• clean up after your dog
• take your litter home
• respect all wildlife habitats, plants, animals and other visitors
• record any wildlife sightings at Eskrigg Centre

Facilities

A hardcore path runs through the reserve offering views of most habitats and with interpretation boards at regular intervals.
• A picnic area with tables and a shelter.
• One small bird-watching hide (without wheelchair access) at the end of a boardwalk, overlooking the pond.
• One medium-sized red squirrel/bird-watching hide (with wheelchair access) with views over the pond and wildlife feeding areas.
• Eskrigg Centre – a large, high-quality hide/visitor centre with interpretation and teaching/research facilities and wheelchair access.
• A toilet with disabled access is available during events and by arrangement.
• School group visits and guided tours can be arranged.

Eskrigg Centre is open all year

beginning of March - end of October
from 8.00am - 5.00pm

beginning of November - end of February
from 9.00am - 4.00pm

other times by arrangement

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

View of access ramp into Centre

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

Front of Centre

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

View of seating area inside Centre

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

View of windows from inside

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

Entrance to Red Squirrel Hide

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

Front and side of Red Squirrel Hide

Eskrigg Reserve Activities 2017

Attendance at any of the Eskrigg Reserve activities is by prior booking only. To book you can send Jim an email or you can text or call him on 07739 987 009.
There is no charge for any of the activities but donations to help with the running of Eskrigg Centre and the Reserve are always welcome.

Date

Time

Event


Spring at Eskrigg

Sun.
02 Apr.

10:00 - 12:00

APRIL MOTHS 1 - Help with moth identification

Thu.
06 Apr.

14:00 - 16:00

SPRING POND-LIFE - children’s activity

Sun.
09 Apr.

10:00 - 12:00

RED SQUIRREL WALK

Thu.
13 Apr.

14:00 - 16:00

WEE WOODLAND BEASTIES - children's activity

Sun.
16 Apr.

10:00 - 12:00

APRIL MOTHS 2 - Help with moth identification

Sun.
21 May

10:00 - 12:00

MAY MOTHS - Help with moth identification


Summer at Eskrigg Reserve

Sun.
18 June

10:00 - 12:00

JUNE MOTHS - Help with moth identification

Sa.
15 July

10:00 - 12:00

JULY MOTHS - Help with moth identification

Sat.
15 July

14:00 - 16:00

WEE WOODLAND BEASTIES - children's activity

Sun.
16 July

10:00 - 12:00

SMALL MAMMAL SURVEY

Sun.
16 July

14:00 - 16:00

SUMMER POND-LIFE - children’s activity

Thu.
17 Aug.

10:00 - 12:00

AUGUST MOTHS - Help with moth identification

Sun.
27 Aug.

14:00 - 16:30

FUNGAL FORAY in Eskrigg Woods, with Duncan Ford, Ranger for
Hoddom and Kinmount Estate


Autumn at Eskrigg Reserve

Thu.
14 Sep.

10:00 - 12:00

SEPTEMBER MOTHS - Help with moth identification

Sun.
15 Oct.

14:00 - 16:30

FUNGAL FORAY in Eskrigg Woods, with Duncan Ford, Ranger for
Hoddom and Kinmount Estate

Thu.
19 Oct.

10:00 - 12:00

OCTOBER MOTHS - Help with moth identification

Tue.
24 Oct.

14:00 - 16:00

AUTUMN POND-LIFE - children’s activity

Sun.
11 Nov.

18:30 - 19:30

LANTERN PARADE at Eskrigg Reserve (weather permitting)


>> Children must be accompanied by an adult at all events <<
Meet at Eskrigg Centre unless otherwise stated.

Reserve Maintenance Days

During these days volunteers are required to assist with routine maintenance work at Eskrigg Nature Reserve.

  • Volunteers need not be members of the Trust
  • Volunteers can come along for just an hour or two or can help for the whole day.
  • Work starts at 10.00 am and finishes at 4.00 pm.
  • Equipment and materials will be provided.
  • Bring own food and refreshment.
  • Dress appropriately on the day.
  • Meet at the Eskrigg Centre

Date

Planned Activity

Sun. 26 Feb. 2017

10am - 12noon only!

Sun. 26 March 2017

To be arranged

Sun. 30 April 2017

To be arranged

Wildlife at Eskrigg Reserve and Woodland Walks

All wildlife can be classified into groups that have features in common. A group of living things that have so many common features that they can reproduce and have fertile young is called a species. Most species at the Reserve can be put into the two major groups: PLANTS and ANIMALS. All the other organisms can be grouped under a third heading: the PROTISTS. Each of these groups can be sub-divided as follows:

Other Protists

  • Bacteria
    (including Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae)
  • Protozoa
    (including Amoebae, Ciliates & Flagellates)
  • Slime Moulds
    (including Cellular & Plasmodial forms)
  • Algae
    (including unicellular, filamentous & colonial)
  • Lichens
    (including crusty, leafy & shrubby forms)

Fungi

Vertebrates
(with backbones)

Fish
(Aquatic - fins, gills & scaly skin)

Amphibians
(Breed in water, smooth, moist skin)

Reptiles
(Dry, scaly skin, lay eggs with soft shells)

Birds
(wings, eggs with hard shells)
Mammals
(Hair or fur, live young fed on milk)

The LWT Committee Members for 2016 / 2017

  • Sybille Spägele (Chairperson)
  • David Hughes (Vice-Chairman)
  • Jim Rae (Reserve Manager)
  • Kathryn Hughes (Treasurer)
  • Kath Davidson (Events Secretary)
  • John Reid (Membership Secretary)
  • Stuart Black
  • Alan Elkington
  • Freda Seddon
  • George Trudt

Date of next Committee Meeting:
Tuesday 18th April 2017
Venue: Kings Arms Hotel, Lockerbie at 7.00 pm

Lockerbie Wildlife Trust, Reserve Manager: Jim Rae
Mobile (daytime): 07739 987 009
Home Tel. (evening): 01576 203 314
Email

Annual Reports of the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust

Annual Report for 2016
(opens in a new window and requires Adobe © Acrobat Reader)

Date of next AGM:
Tuesday 27th September 2017
Venue: Town Hall, Lockerbie at 7.30 pm

Trust Meetings and Winter Talks Programme 2016 / 2017

These will be held in the Lockerbie Town Hall, Community Rooms, at 7.30 pm unless otherwise stated.
Entry to meetings: All welcome - Adults £2.00 (Members, Senior Citizens and School children £1.00).
Entry to A.G.M. and Members’ Night is free.

Date

Title of meeting / talk and speaker


Wed.
27 Sep. 2017

LWT AGM

Fund Raisers 2016 / 2017

Date

Event

Location


Sat.
6 May

Spring Coffee Morning

Lockerbie Town Hall
(Community Rooms)
10.00 am - 12.00 noon