THE Langholm Initiative Wild Eskdale project hosts its first festival shortly and it includes a range of exciting activities over a week.
It kicks off on Saturday, August 31 and ends on Sunday, September 8.
The festival will showcase to residents, businesses and visitors the wide range of wildlife on our doorstep and the opportunities there are here.
Carys Mainprize, organiser, said: “Not everyone realises that Langholm is a hotspot for wildlife.
“Part of the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and that’s for a very good reason.
“The area is unspoiled and there are rare species such as hen harriers, black grouse and adders and other species such as dippers and heron.
“It’s a great area for walking and outdoor adventure and this is a huge selling point.”
The project team is working with the South of Scotland Golden Eagle project and the Walled Garden at Arkleton to offer some unique events.
It begins on the Castleholm on Saturday, August 31. People can take part in a big tree climb to get an eagle’s eye view of the area. Wild Tree Adventures will be organising this part of the day.
Ray Lowden of the Kielder Water and Forest Park bird of prey centre will give a talk about falconry and he will have a golden eagle with him to let people see these magnificent birds at close hand.
OutPost Arts will offer young people the opportunity to take part in the Discover Langholm Trail and earn an arts award.
In the evening people can meet the Golden Eagle project team in the Eskdale Hotel and enjoy a buffet.
Those attending can expect an update on the project and ask questions and find out about the eagle schools. Anyone interested in this should book.
For people keen on being able to identify raptors, Rick Taylor will run a morning session at Langholm golf club on Sunday, September 1 followed by a moorland walk in the afternoon to practise the skills learned.
Some will remember Rick from when he worked on the Making the Most of Moorlands project in Langholm.
Anyone interested in moorland yoga can join Scapa Flow yoga on Tuesday, September 3 at the Kilngreen where transport will be available to take people to the monument. No equipment is necessary but people are advised to book.
On Wednesday, September 4 there is a bat walk with David Dodds, a leading bat specialist based in southern Scotland.
Those wanting to take part in this should book and the group will meet at the OutPost Arts Hub in the High Street before taking a walk around the town to spot bats.
On the weekend of September 7 and 8 budding wildlife photographers as well as more experienced ones will have a chance to have tuition from well-known award-winning Scottish wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell.
Laurie is the author of two books and has illustrated several others.
The Saturday workshop is for children under 16 and the Sunday one is for adults. Booking is essential and the cost of the full day workshop is £35.
The finale event is a village fete in the Walled Garden at Arkleton on Sunday, September 8.
Free transport will be available from The Paper Shop in Langholm at 2pm, 3pm and 5pm.
Traditional games, including quoits, will be on offer as well as stalls and a pop-up bar from His and Her Drinks.
There will be lots of activities for young people and food will be available all day. There will also be live music from Borders Ceilidh Band and others.
The festival is funded by the Holywood Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Robertson Trust and LEADER Dumfries & Galloway.
Publicity for the festival is going out across southern Scotland and Cumbria and the team hope to attract a wide range of people
Carys is looking for volunteers to help with the festival and anyone interested in helping can contact her on
For full details of all the events visit