Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Visitor Attractions
Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is internationally recognised as a world class environment for people and nature.

About Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Covering more than 5,200 km² of southwest Scotland, Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere follows the rivers that flow out of the Galloway Hills: through forests and farmland, historic villages and towns, all the way to a ruggedly scenic coast. The Biosphere region is home to some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife, and natural habitats of international importance: mountains, peatlands, and 480 million years of geological time in the rocks at its shores. Biosphere Communities are destinations for slow and sustainable tourism, showcasing Scotland's rural heritage. Trained Biosphere Guides lead visitors through authentic, immersive experiences - from foraging to forest bathing, gravel biking to wild swimming, and much much more.

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire was the first region in Scotland to be designated a UNESCO Biosphere, awarded this title in 2012. It is now one of more than 700 UNESCO Biospheres around the world, and only two in Scotland. The Biosphere ethos encourages positive environmental impacts and deeper connections to landscape, nature and people. In Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, businesses and attractions that have been awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark offer visitors sustainable choices in accommodation, food and drink, leisure activities, shopping, tours and creative arts.

The Biosphere region includes Galloway Forest Park, the UK's first Gold-Tier International Dark Sky Park. Dark skies offer an experience that is accessible to everyone, all year round, bringing science, folklore, and nocturnal ecology alive. The region is one of thirteen designations on Scotland's award-winning UNESO Trail, alongside World Heritage Sites, Global Geoparks, Creative Cities, and the UNESCO Biosphere at Wester Ross.

Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is a place for adventure, discovery and inspiration, where slow travel is the best way to travel, and outdoors is the best place to be.

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