Ochiltree becomes Ayrshire’s first biosphere community

The historic conservation village of Ochiltree has become a Biosphere Community – the fifth to be designated within the UNESCO Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere and the first in Ayrshire.

Creating biosphere communities allows villages and towns in the region to explore what is special about their locality and the attributes that most inspire community pride.

As part of the process, residents were invited to participate in a “Sense of Place” workshop where they shared local stories, favorite places and thoughts on what makes their community unique.

Within days, villagers had submitted text and photographs for a dedicated Ochiltree page on the Biosphere website. This will promote the village to an international audience looking for sustainable and slow-moving tourist experiences such as those offered by the UNESCO Trail in Scotland.

Jenna Cains, Community and Education Manager for the Biosphere, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Ochiltree community over the past few weeks and we look forward to doing much more as the relationship grows. .

“During the Sense of Place workshop, the GSAB team learned a lot about the village, its history and the unique characteristics that make it a fantastic destination in East Ayrshire. It is above all the local community spirit that really gives life to the village.

Biosphere communities promote local life and culture in modern times, and the people of Ochiltree have chosen to spotlight catering businesses such as Boswell’s Coach House, The Bakery Box, and Morton’s Milk .

Chronicle of Cumnock:

Ochiltree Community Hub has also been celebrated as a place where all ages can meet, eat, learn and have fun, while for those seeking rural tranquility the landscapes around the village offer ‘calm pools or rushing rivers. ; wild woods or flowery paths.

As the relationship with the Biosphere grows, residents will be able to call on the team to help them develop community initiatives and promote special events.

Ed Forrest, Director of the Biosphere, added: “It is a key priority for us to expand the Biosphere Communities program in Ayrshire, and we believe this is a pioneering model that the whole world can learn. ”

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