A beautiful community woodland located within walking distance from the village of Creetown in South West Scotland. Named from the Gaelic ‘bealach’, referring to a ford over the Balloch Burn, it has also been called Ballochanamour in the past, and locals have known the wood as the Whinnie Face after the gorse which grows on the hillside.
The woodland follows the course of the Balloch Burn from the hills west of Creetown to the Cree Estuary. Linear in shape, and several kilometres long, it offers a range of walks through a richly varied woodland of Larch, Oak, Scots Pine, Beech, Italian Alder and other species.
The woodland changes with the seasons, carpeted with primroses and blue bells in spring while in late autumn ochre coloured Larch needles cover the forest floor. Throughout the year there are abundant mosses and ferns, particularly those hanging in the gorge - created over many thousands of years by the gradual cutting action of the Balloch Burn.
Wildlife is plentiful with a healthy red squirrel population, woodpeckers, tree creepers, great and coal tits, and roe deer.
Remains of mill and quarry industries from the 18th century, and several sites of archaeological interest including a ‘Chalybeate well’ where iron deposits turn the water red, provide further features of interest for the visitor. These are complimented by recent artistic projects, including a poetry stone circle, a traditionally built roundhouse and hand crafted benches scattered along the walking routes.
A range of information has been provided here to enhance your enjoyment of our woodland, from background information on the project to information about its ecology and history, guides to several walks, poetry inspired by the woodland, and a downloadable activity sheet for the younger explorer.
We hope to see you in the woodland soon!