Below is the latest updates regarding The Kipp project.

10 March 2019

Tree Planting Update:

We had a great morning on Saturday with 14 volunteers planting from 9.00 to 12.00, and almost completing one area of 400 trees from start to finish! This really has boosted our progress.

The bad news, of course, is that today, Sunday, has been a washout (or should I say whiteout)! So no trees today.

Monday forecast is looking really good, so it's an opportunity to make hay (plant trees) while the sun shines. A lot of people have work commitments, but anyone who is around tomorrow will be most welcome on The Kipp.


7 March 2019

We’ve had some pretty inclement weather to deal with this week on The Kipp, so well done to those who came along to help.

By the end of Friday, we should have finished the compartment above Kipp House, so, in total we must have planted 3,000 trees!

On Saturday and Sunday we’ll be planting on the much more accessible land beside the big Scots Pines at the bottom of Killy Mew (you will soon find us if you walk in from the top gate). We plan to work 9 - noon, Saturday and Sunday, and would really appreciate some help.

Bring a spade, if you like, or just a small trowel. Wellies or boots, and gardening gloves.  You can always just come and have a look, and give your moral support!

4 March 2019

This week the tree planting continues.  We are currently working in the area behind Kipp House.  Come in through the top gate at The Kipp, walk up the field and veer to the left.
Planting times are weekdays 9-11am, and weekends 9am-12noon.  Please note that we are NOT planting on Wednesday this week as the forecast is poor. 

We've had great support so far but it would be nice for a big push at the weekend.  If you can spare 30 mins or three hours, please do come along.  You can plant one or one hundred trees, or just watch and encourage.

To date we estimate we have planted 2,600 trees -- which is a phenomenal effort from all.

See you in the field.

Inside each of the green tubes is a tiny little tree, planted with love, care, and in many cases, well wishes from its planter (you know who you are -- talking to each tree!)


24 February 2019

We had lovely weather for today’s tree planting and lots of enthusiastic volunteers, many planting trees for the very first time.

The count at the end of Sunday is 1,050 mounds prepared, 850 trees planted! Pretty good!
This coming week we will be there 9.00 - 11.00 Monday to Friday, and 9.00 - 12.00 on Saturday and Sunday.

We will still be up in the top field. See you there.

23 February 2019

We finally started planting trees today, with a 2-hour session in the morning and the same in the afternoon.

Again, many thanks to those who came along with their trowels, mallets and spades: we have planted about 200 oak trees. There was also a team preparing the mounds for planting, and they have, in total prepared planting sites for 900 trees.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we will again be up in the top field from 9.00 to 11.00 am and 2.00 to 4.00 pm.

We look forward to seeing you then. If you don’t feel able to plant, you can still come and say hello.

If you are not sure where we are planting, here's a map.  Come in from the top gate and follow the tractor path.


22 February 2019

Some 500 planting mounds, prepared over the past two days, are ready for our first tree planting session this weekend. We will be planting in the top field Saturday (tomorrow) 9.00 - 11.00 am and 2.00 - 4.00 pm. 

Everyone is welcome. A trowel or a mallet would be useful if you have on, but not essential. Come and plant 1 tree, or 100 trees, or just come and have a look. If you want to do some heavier mound preparation, bring a small spade.

We will start by planting a few hundred oak trees. The Kipp will be their home for the next 100 to 200 years. We will do our best to give them a good start.

We plan to be there again on Sunday at the same times.

Any volunteers who want to help with the mound preparation, we will be on the Kipp every day next week 9.00 - 11.00 am.

Ready for trees

Ready for trees

15 February 2019

At our open meeting in the village hall last week we talked about the first phase of the Kippford Community Nature Reserve -- Tree Planting.

It was great to have people sign up as volunteers to assist in this.  Below are details of the dates for the event.

If you're interested, please drop an email to  Anyone can come along -- plant one tree, or one hundred, or just come along to watch.


Tree Planting

Tree planting can be broken down into the following stages:

  •  Preparing the mound (using a spade, sturdy boots and gardening gloves)
  •  Laying out the stakes and tubes (gardening gloves)
  •  Putting in the stake (mallet and gloves)
  •  Sorting and laying out the trees (gloves, knife)
  •  Planting the trees (spade or trowel, gloves and boots)
  •  Putting on the tube (gloves)
  •  Standing back and admiring the work (no specialist equipment required)

Of these stages only the first stage, preparing the mound (“mound prepping”), is heavy work,
involving digging, chopping and heeling-in. It is also the task that takes most time.

On Wednesday 20th Feb.

Trees, tubes and stakes will be delivered to top gate. We don’t yet know the time of the delivery –
this will be communicated early next week. Alastair will be there with his tractor and trailer to move
all the materials to the planting areas.

It would be good to have 4 or 5 volunteers available to help load and unload the trailer. This will be
some heavy lifting involved. Boots or wellies, and gardening gloves would be advisable. There may
also be time for a bit of mounding preparation, so a small spade would be useful.

On Thursday 21st / Friday 22nd

We will get some areas ready for tree planting to start at the weekend.

Mounding prepping – chopping the centre of the mound with a spade to cut through the turf and
creating a tilth (into which the tree will later be planted) is the slowest stage, so we need to get an
area started so that the weekend tree planters are not held up.

On Saturday 23rd / Sunday 24th

Tree planting starts. The core times will be 9.00 – 11.30 am and 2.00 – 4.00 pm. If you are planning
to put in a full stint, then you might want to bring a flask of hot tea or coffee, you will really
appreciate it. We will be starting with an area at the top of the Kipp, which is a little bit of a hike
from the road. As previously communicated, you can plant as many or as few trees as you wish. Or
you can just come for a look.

At the end of the weekend we will take stock of the progress we have made and work out a schedule
for the following weekend.


4 February 2019

On Monday 11th February at 7pm we are holding a brief update meeting regarding The Kipp.  We would be pleased to explain our funding applications, and our plans to plant 4,600 trees in the coming few weeks.

18 January 2019

We have now secured funding to proceed with the project. Total funding stands at £89,000 to date.

The Forestry Commission have given a grant to cover the planting of six areas of native woodland.  A total of 4,600 trees will be planted. Initial work has involved creating this number of small mounds in which the trees will be planted.  The trees will be arriving late February when we will be asking volunteers to help with the planting.  Species will include oak, scots pine, aspen, willow, birch and alder.

Scottish Natural Heritage are providing a substantial grant to enable the creation of a footpath around the arboretum from the parking area , plus gates, signs, benches and drainage.

Grants from SWEAT (Landfill Fund), D&G Discretionary Fund and E.ON Community Fund (with the support of Colvend Community Council) have all been offered.  These funds, together with own funds will enable us to proceed with the arboretum and parking area. Our application to LEADER did not go forward as we were advised that they have no funds left. There is a possibility that, if there is any under spend on existing projects, then some funding may be available in March.  In view of this we attended a D&G Funding Roadshow and made a presentation to the Lottery Fund Officers present.  This was well received and we have now applied for funding.  The result of this application is due early March.

Two wetland scrapes have been created (one being tiered).  Scrapes are shallow depressions with gently sloping edges, which seasonally hold water.  They are very attractive to wildlife, supporting a wide variety of invertebrates and can provide important feeding areas for breeding wading birds and their chicks.

Work on the parking area and footpaths etc will commence in spring.  The arboretum, comprising some 200 birch trees of different varieties, will be planted in the autumn.

21 December 2018

Wetland Areas

The mounding for the trees has been completed this week. The mounds will have a couple of months to settle before we start tree planting in March.
We had half a day spare, so got the digger man to make a start on the wetland areas. In this photo he is creating a wetland “splash” on an area in the top field where historically there was a pond.

Wetland preparations

Wetland preparations

17 December 2018

Native Woodland on the Kipp

Work started this week on the preparation of planting sites for the native woodland. A contractor with a digger will be on the land throughout this week creating planting mounds - basically small heaps of inverted turf into which we will, in March, plant the tree seedlings. The mounds provide an area of tilth in which the tree roots can establish, as well as suppressing the grass which might otherwise overwhelm the seedlings. The mounds will be left to settle over the winter.

The 4,600 tree seedlings along with wooden stakes and protective tubes will arrive at the beginning of March. We will give advance notice for all those who would like to come and help plant the trees. It’s a big job, so all volunteers will be welcome.

Also this week, if time permits, we will start work on some of the wetland scrapes - the digger will strip the topsoil in some of the wetter hollows to create area where shallow water can form. Once established, these areas will provide ideal habitat for frogs, toads, and newts, as well as many species of dragonfly, damselfly and other water-borne insects. Waders such as snipe and redshank will use the scrapes as feeding stations.

We are thrilled to finally be making progress on the Kippford Community Nature Reserve.

10 September 2018

Native Woodland Grant

The Forestry Commission Scotland have given their support to our plans for the Kipp Community Nature Reserve, having committed to provide £18,000 of funding. This money will cover the cost of 4,600 native tree seedlings to be planted in seven small woodland compartments across The Kipp. These will be important elements of the habitat mosaic which will also include, ponds, wetlands, meadows and scrub - perfect habitat for a diversity of wildlife.

The 60 cm tree seedlings will arrive in February/March 2019. Given time, and with a little help from nature, they will mature into fine oak, alder, birch, Scots pine, aspen canopy trees surrounded by woodland edge flowering trees such as willow, rowan, crab apple, cherry, hawthorn and blackthorn - ideal territory for goldfinches, long-tailed tits, yellowhammers and song thrushes, and suitable and much-needed cover for hedgehogs and voles.

The woodland will improve year on year and will continue to benefit the environment for many decades to come.
Would you like to create a native woodland? Would you like to offset your carbon footprint? Then why not come along and plant a tree, or a hundred trees if you wish.

We are still at the planning stage, but more information will be available in the coming months.

5 August 2018

You may have seen some activity on The Kipp last week:

Jason Mclurg of Solway Plant Hire Ltd very generously donated a JCB and driver for two days to help improve the area at the top gate in to the ‘Barn Croft’ field.

JCB arriving

JCB arriving

This has cleared the detritus from the large concrete hard standing, removed the large piles of remains from cattle feed, created a solid base for access and laid a drainage pipe to improve the land.

March 2016:

March 2016

March 2016

Water Water everywhere!

Water Water everywhere!



All clear

All clear


Many, many thanks to Jason and Solway Plant hire Ltd


We have also made a start on the meadows in the Killy Mew fields. Thanks to Mike Riding from the village who used his personal equipment to make an experimental cutting of the long grass. This is only a trial cut to see the state of the land and we are very pleased to find that there are no rocks (so far) to hinder cutting the meadows. Cutting will enable  us to create a wild flower meadow.

Grass cutting

Grass cutting

Front Walker looking for boulders

Front Walker looking for boulders

Many thanks to Mike and those who helped with this work (not the dog! But he did enjoy it!)

Doggy Help!

Doggy Help!

Please everyone -go and enjoy your land!!!


23 June 2018 

On Tuesday (19 June) we were delighted to welcome seven field botanists to The Kipp. They spent most of the day walking the Kipp and recording species identified, with some needing more research off site to identify.   Included in the group was David Hawker, Official Botanical Recorder for Kirkcudbrightshire.

Over 125 species were identified and will be recorded accordingly. The bog alongside Kipp Mews was of particular merit and provoked much excitement.

The woodland up the hill to the side of Kipp House showed rare species as growing in areas of ancient woodland of at least 250 years old. The group suggested that the Ash trees growing there could be recorded as Ancient Woodland as most likely over 200 years old.

Also noted was a good selection of butterflies such as Ringlet, Orange Tip, Small White and day flying moths Chimney Sweeper and Cinnabar being readily identified.

Young frogs and toads were seen. Also found in the bog next to the quarry was a Diving Water Spider.

Alan Dingle thanked the group for the survey work they have completed on behalf of the Kippford Association. A detailed report will be published listing all species.

Intense discussion

Intense discussion

Recording even the tiniest of plants

Recording even the tiniest of plants

8 June 2018

As reported in the Minutes of the Association meeting in May, we have now applied for grants from several bodies. This will take some months before we know if we will be successful. We have had one quick response from SWEAT with an offer of £10,000 subject to the submission of detailed information.

In the mean time there is work we can be doing. Most immediately we want to clear the detritus scattered over our land. There is a particular issue with plastic from feed bales piled up near the top entrance. Watch for a date for this being published. We are also seeking help from some kind person with a tractor and flail to cut back the grass in the meadows.


Following the tree felling there is a pile of wood logs left near the top gate. Most require further cutting/axing. Please help yourself. If you would like to make a donation to the kippford Association funds it would be appreciated.


The land is dry and whilst there are no paths yet, why not go and walk your land. If you do go in please use the top gate as the horse in the lower field is a bit ‘over friendly’. If you go up to the top you can access the Forestry at  points A, B or C as shown on the plan of the land.


Entrance from road in Green, Yellow points access to Forestry

Entrance from road in Green, Yellow points access to Forestry

21 May 2018

Two applications were submitted at the beginning of May - the Improving Public Access Scheme (IPA) and the Forestry Commission Native Woodland Scheme are both funded by the EU (Common Agricultural Policy) and administered through the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments Programme.

As its name implies, the IPA scheme supports landowners (that’s us!) to create new paths for public access, linking to the existing core path network, where possible, and helping to integrate access and recreational use with good land management.

The IPA fund contributes to the cost of footpath creation, drainage, gates, signage and benches. We have submitted a proposal to create a footpath of a design consistent with our discussions at the Community Meeting on 16th April. The scheme does not provide funding for the likes of car parks or drystane dyke repair – we are seeking alternative funding for these.

The Forestry Commission Native Woodland Scheme provides funding for the purchase of tree seedlings, protectors and stakes. We have submitted a proposal for the woodland layout we presented at the open day. This is to plant 4,700 trees in eight small compartments across the Kipp, forming one element of a wildlife habitat mosaic. The total area planted would be 3 hectares (15% of the total land area). Oak, birch, alder, scots pine, aspen, willow, gean, bird cherry, hazel, hawthorn, rowan, elder and holly are all included in the planting plan. The cost of planting the trees is not included in the funding, so we will have to do it ourselves!

In both applications we have indicated that work would commence in early Spring 2019.

There is no certainty that our applications will be successful – the EU funding is limited and there will be many other proposals vying for funding. Here’s hoping!

25 April 2018

On Monday 16th April there was a Village meeting to approve two motions in order to progress the development of The Kipp project:

1. The Kippford Community Nature Reserve’ will be the official designation accorded to the entire area of land acquired by the Association in 2017 on behalf of its Membership and previously referred to as ‘The Kipp’. The term, ‘The Kipp’, will continue to be recognised as the informal name for this land area.

2. Approval is granted to The Committee of The Kippford Association by the Association’s membership to seek financial assistance in the form of grants from funding organisations to facilitate the creation of enhanced landscape features including the formation of footpaths, ponds, planting of trees, and the creation of vehicular access for Disabled Visitors with an associated parking/turning area and relevant signage where appropriate.

Both motions were approved, with 87% in favour of each.

This will allow the Kipp project team to go off and seek funding and produce a more detailed plan for the future of the land.

27 February 2018

Last week we had to undertake some tree felling at the edge of The Kipp and the roadside -- we had been advised that several trees were a danger to the public. You can see why. A hollow tree is an accident waiting to happen.


11th January 2018

Following the decision taken at the SGM of The Kipp Ltd, the company is now in the process of being wound up. Many thanks are due to all the people who have kept their belief in The Kipp for all these years. Particular thanks must go to those who worked hard to win this special place for us all to enjoy. Three names must stand out.

Mervyn Wallace who kept in contact with the receivers and advised the Kipp Ltd when and how much to offer. Without his advice we would have believed we needed to offer significantly more.

Ken MacDonald, who worked tirelessly to acquire the land, put up the initial money to buy the land and led the struggle to get full possession.

Kristine Filer without whose passion for the Kipp and her vision and determination, we would never have been successful

We will now arrange a land survey which will advise us of the various existing habitats and identify potential future uses of the land.

Many thanks also to Alistair McLellan for his work on the felled trees and tidying up the aftermath of Scottish Power’s work. Quotations are being obtained for the felling of the remaining dead trees which are close to the road.

If you want to talk to us about the Kipp or have ideas for its future, please contact any member of the Association ‘Kipp Group’:

  • Alan Dingle (Chair), Val Bradbury, Richard Copson, Kristine Filer, David Jamieson, David McCall,  Mike Riding, Caroline Robertson, Doug Waddell


18th November 2017

Not a lot is happening on the land at the moment whilst Scottish Power replace poles and lines and remove dead trees near the power lines. However, off the land, we have been making progress with other organisations.

Three of our Association Kipp subcommittee members attended a Scottish Wildlife Trust meeting in Castle Douglas. The Chairman was very interested in the Kipp and invited Alan Dingle to address the meeting. Off the cuff, Alan gave an excellent short talk on what The Kipp is and our hopes for the future of the land.  Alan received a hearty round of applause.  The Galloway Group of the Wildlife Trust have offered to carry out surveys of the land by a botanist and entomologist at no cost.  This will be carried out in the spring and will support our grant applications.

We have also met with the Forestry Commission who are very enthusiastic about the land and have given good advice. They will meet half the cost of stone wall repair and there are possibilities of grants to help with any woodland planting.

The Woodland Trust have offered bundles of appropriate trees at no cost (other than stakes and protectors).  They will come and survey the site to advise appropriate species.

An onsite meeting with Kimberley Phillips from D&G Communities Directorate took place last week. They also are keen to help with the planning of the way forward and involvement of the local community.

Fund raising has now reached £48,000 plus gift aid.  Many thanks to the latest donors. We are still willing to take your money!  Don’t forget the currency appeal as well!


12th October 2017

With the completion of the sale legal bills were anticipated for the conveyance and for earlier legal work on behalf of the Kipp Ltd (not related to the occupation dispute where all costs are payable by the other side). Both sets of solicitors involved have waived fees giving a significant saving. Both have been thanked for their action.

Hopefully you will have noticed that the grass verges the length of the Kipp land on the way in to Kippford have been cut. This was not the council! After a Saturday night over a glass (or two!) of wine a few of us set to work the next day. Apologies if you missed the opportunity to help, but you will have further opportunities!

We have also been clearing ragwort, although we were really too late before the seeds flew.

An advisor has walked the land with us and given very helpful advice.

Scottish Power will be cutting down several dead trees near the power lines. Other dead trees will also have to be cleared. A wayleave agreement has been signed with Scottish Power and a cheque for £770 for payment from September 2014 has been received.

We are seeking advice on the best way forward with grant applications and will need to develop our ideas for the land.

The next task is to continue clearing the area at the top gate, repair fences and gates and clear/create drainage channels . We are now seeking funding for this first phase.

We are advised that in living memory your land has not been ploughed nor had artificial fertilizer applied. This makes The Kipp a very rare and attractive asset for its botanical potential for wildflowers, grasses, beautiful trees and wildlife.

Fund raising has now reached £45,000, which is an amazing achievement in two months. It is encouraging to know how many of us care about this open space being retained for the village and for the environment. To all who have donated, again many thanks. If you have not got around to it yet, please do!



 19th September 2017

The Kipp.jpgThe Kippford Association have now acquired the Kipp land for the village. Many thanks to all those who donated so generously. In just four weeks we have raised £42,000 of the target £52,000. (If you have not yet donated or would like more information, please contact any committee member)

We will now put some ideas together for the enhancement and management of the land. To all who have supported this project there will be the opportunity to voice your ideas following this update.

A final proposal will be put to the village for approval.

Having agreed a plan for the way forward we will then approach various funds to seek their help in financing the project.                  

Work has already started to clear up the mess that was left at the top gate of the Kipp hill. Sadly the former occupier of this area has left us with a considerable quantity of slurry and manure behind the gates. FREE manure to all who can help clear this area!

The next task will be to repair walling and fencing damaged by the cattle. This can be done as soon as we can complete the fund-raising as mentioned above.

We would also welcome volunteers to help tidy the roadside verge the length of the Kipp land. Sadly the council do not cut the verges now, although some work has just been done to clear some of the scrub and branches overhanging the road. Strimmers at the ready! Watch for more information on dates.

We will also organise “Walk Our Land” days as soon as possible.

This is an exciting long term project for the village. Please get involved in any way you can be it muscle, ideas or feedback.