Balloch Community Woodlands Creetown


Balloch Wood is mixed woodland, consisting of roughly a 60/40 split between modern conifer woodland and native broadleaf, although the long term aims of the Forestry Commission are to restore the Wood fully to broadleaf.  Thus, trees such as ash, oak, birch, aspen and rowan will, over time, replace coniferous species.  

Two of the oldest trees in the woodland include a Rowan located at the far side of the Wildlife Ponds from the Roundhouse and an old Beech Tree tree located half way along the Pond Trail at the side of the dyke which marks the boundary of the woodland.  Hawthorn trees have also been noted in this area for several centuries. 

In 1682 Symson noted ‘I have observed many hawthorne-trees growing in several places, the boughs or branches, (and many times the bole too,) I have observed growing, or inclining towards the south-east.  The country people commonly account the cutting down of those trees ominous, and tell many stories of accidents that have befallen such as attempted it, especially those trees of the greater sort.’ 

Another ancient twisted and gnarled hawthorn known locally as Ferrythorn can be found down by the estuary in Creetown.  Said to be as old as the town itself, it marks the place where travellers to Wigtown were ferried across the estuary and became a local landmark, a location to meet others and a trysting place of lovers.

Returning within Balloch Wood, Balloch Community Woodland has planted a range of native and exotic broadleaf trees.  In the environs of the wildlife ponds poplar, rowan, hazel, apple, great white Japanese cherry, golden willow and Spanish chestnut trees have been planted. 

A ring of rowans has also been planted at the picnic spot by Darach Bridge at the start of the Oak Trail, and a row of young lime trees lines the start of the same walk.  Other trees and shrubs planted by the project in recent years include Blackthorn, Sessile Oak, Red Oak, Scots Pine, Cherry Gean, Yew, Hawthorn, Juniper, Hazel, Aspen and Italian Alder.

Otherwise there are a wide range of different broadleaf and conifer trees species.  Some of the most prominent of these are the Japanese larch trees which distinguish the lower reaches of the wood and the oak, birch and beech trees which surround the Oak Trail.  Meanwhile a huge variety of trees can be spotted while walking along the Pond Trail

The species pictured and listed below can all be found in the woodland.  How many can you find?




Japanese Larch



Male catkins of silver birch (Betula pendula)

Silver Birch


Italian Alder

Ash bud burst.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) heavy with berries.

Autumn beech leaves.

FIELD MAPLE(Acer campestre)  LEAF - AUTUMN

Norway Maple

Fresh spring hazel leaves. (Corylus avellana)


Scots pine cone

Scots Pine
Sitka spruce needles.

Sitka Spruce

Norway spruce cones

Norway Spruce


Leaf of sweet chestnut

Sweet chestnut
Wild cherries

Wild cherry
Holly heavy with berries.