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Wild Oak Woods - Explore, Learn, Laugh

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Wild Oak Woods is an area of fabulous woodland and stunning wildflower meadows tucked away in the south west of Scotland overlooking the Solway coast. Thanks to the lack of intensive agriculture, over the last 40 years, Wild Oak Woods has become an amazing place for wildlife. The woodland is home to Badgers, Red Squirrels and Roe deer and meadows boast a multitude of wild flowers, butterflies and bees.

Spring is a time for bluebells and birds song and you might be lucky enough to spot a Woodpecker, Nuthatch or a Goldcrest. Summer is filled with the colour of meadow flowers and damselflies and you might catch a glimpse of bronze as a slow worm slithers by. In autumn watch out for little frogs and toads and toadstools and wonder at the aerobatics of the hunting bats. In winter the woodland takes a snooze watched over by the woodland giants, the wise old oak trees.

Anyone is welcome to walk in the woods and enjoy the beauty.

Responsible Access

  • To conserve the nature and beauty of the woodland we ask that you take only photographs and leave only footprints.
  • Dogs are welcome under close control - walking to heal or on a short lead and please remove all poo from the site.
  • Please follow management signs – certain areas may be closed to public at times for woodland management or group activities. Areas marked private are not open to the public to allow us to go about our daily business unhindered.
  • Cyclists are welcome at walking pace- please be aware that horses and even people are afraid if approached at speed.

For further information about responsible access then please visit the Outddor Access Scotland website

Wild Oak Woods - a forgotten gem

Dumfries and Galloway is described by some as Scotland's best kept holiday secret. It is certainly a place of outstanding scenery and heart-warming beauty easily accessible from northern England and southern Scotland without the overwhelming numbers of holiday makers you find in the Lake District. It is a place where life slows down and local people smile and pass the time of day away from the city bustle and often in the sunshine. The Sandyhills area is a place once visited never forgotten and Barend Chalet complex, next to Wild Oak Woods, is a great example of this with people holidaying there year after year for more than 20 years.

The Solway Coast is known of as the Scottish Riviera and from our experience this may be true. Often a place where no jacket is required we certainly seem to get more than our fair share of Scotland's good weather. Well visited in Victorian times the coastal villages of Rockcliff and Kippford attracted holiday makers from across the country and today the caravan sites at Southerness, Sandyhills, Rockcliff and Kippford carry on this seaside holiday tradition.

And Wild Oak Woods is a forgotten gem within this best kept secret. A thickly wooded hillside screens the entrance to a hidden valley which opens out in to wild flower meadows and rugged hillside with rocky outcrops and gorsy knolls. This is the land that time forgot, passed over by modern farming and forestry practices. A place to forget your troubles and relax in to the slow pace of life in the woods. A place where traditional values still exist, a place where children play and families spend quality time sharing, immersed in things to do with your children in the woods. A place to be with wildlife and nature. A place to sit and listen to the birds look at the wildflowers, watch the bees and damselflies and wonder as deer passes through, a badger wanders by or a squirrel scurries overhead.

Wild Oak Woods is a place where life is slow but far from boring. There is lots to see and do in the local vicinity with Dalbeattie Forest 7 Stanes Mountain Bike Track, Barend Riding Centre, Barend Bar, restaurant and chalet complex and Bainloch Deer Park just next door. Sandyhills beach, shop and café are just a hop skip and a jump away and Kippford, Colvend, Rockcliff, Dalbeattie and Southerness are less than a 10 minute by car.

Come and see for yourself I've worked all my life in woodland and this is the best one I've ever seen. Oh and by the way when you've been here don't tell! It's our special place, our gem, our little secret now.