Carrifran valley (image by David Geddes)

News & Events

Borders Forest Trust purchases Talla & Gameshope

We are delighted to announce that BFT has secured possession of 1,832 hectares (4,527 acres) of the Talla and Gameshope estate, in the heart of the Scottish Borders. This new site is larger than all of our existing sites put together, and our first major site within the Borders. With the support of the previous owner, who was committed to seeing the land pass into conservation management, BFT is now the steward of the wild heart of the Southern Uplands.

The area purchased includes the stunning valley of the Gameshope burn. The site is particularly special because it offers a rare opportunity to restore a large area of hills and valleys to their natural state providing habitats extensive enough to be truly sustainable in contrast to isolated areas of conservation found elsewhere. At its southern end the property borders both the Carrifran Wildwood, which also belongs to Borders Forest Trust, and the National Trust for Scotland’s Grey Mare’s Tail.

BFT will gradually and sympathetically work to restore this important site by encouraging the return of habitats that have been lost over many hundreds of years.

The purchase took place to a tight deadline and BFT is very grateful to the generous individuals and Trusts who made success possible. A first important step now will be to carry out biological surveys on the land so that future changes can be mapped.

The Wildwood Group of Borders Forest Trust, who have spearheaded the Carrifran Wildwood project over the past 15 years, have been heavily involved in the process of acquiring the adjacent land of Talla & Gameshope, and now see the opportunity for Borders Forest Trust - working with its neighbours - to establish an extensive contiguous area of restored wild land in the heart of the Southern Uplands. It’s going to be exciting!

Carrifran Wildwood Story front cover

The Carrifran Wildwood Story, by Myrtle & Philip Ashmole with members of the Wildwood Group, was published by Borders Forest Trust in September 2009 and is now available to purchase for £10 plus p&p. All the money received goes to support the project. To find out more about the book, download a preview and print off the order form please visit the The Carrifran Wildwood Story page or order online through the Borders Forest Trust website.

For all the latest news about Carrifran, please refer to the Volunteering pages and to the Google Group.