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Case Studies > Red Kite Feeding Station

Bellymack Hill Farm, Castle Douglas


Case Study Red Kite Feeding Station Bellymack Hill Farm, Castle Douglas www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Red Kite Feeding Station Bellymack Hill Farm and its Red Kite Feeding Station, owned by Anne Johnstone, has had a fantastic impact on the local community.

The Red Kites are fed every day at 2:00pm and this occurs 365 days a year. Anne has been doing this for over 15 years, and over the years has increased her farm from a small hide to a large centre where visitors can sit inside in inclement weather and yet still see these magnificent birds eat in a natural environment.

Over the years the farm has had upgrades all of this has been done by Anne herself. There was a new walking trail put in a year ago that allows people to have a 20-30 minute walk in nature viewing some of the spectacular scenery that is available on the edge of the Galloway Forest. The centre was extended last year to accommodate more and more visitors to view the birds. It allows families to enjoy the outdoors, connect with one another and nature in a fun, natural and stimulating environment.

There are local crafts on offer for sale ensuring that the local community and crafters get a centre stage, as well as the business it brings to the local area in that people come from all over to view these raptors, so there is campsites that benefit, hotels, B&B's and local restaurants as well as local shops while people are in the area visiting. The centre is available for functions and events, schools are always admitted free and most large groups get a discount.

The donation to get in is £5 per adult, and children are always free. The money raised is then put back into the cost of feeding these birds and keeping the centre open 365 days a year.

To observe what one woman has been able to accomplish with the help of volunteers and mostly her own hard work is truly amazing and the value it brings to help families connect with nature, the money it generates for local businesses is a big plus and all for the love of one woman's desire and pleasure in farming and feeding nature. For children to come in and see them on their mobile phones and then to see their faces if there is a baby lamb to hold, or a baby rabbit and then when they see the Kites being fed they put their phones away and interact and you see the joy in their faces, that is a joy to witness and inspire one and all.

The farm and its environment helps to ensure that animals, farming, and nature is continuing and will do so for many years to come, which is a huge boost to any community and should be recognized for the heart-warming environment that it is. It does not matter how many times you have witnessed the spectacle of over 100 pair of Kites feeding; every time it is still as inspiring and awesome as it was the first time you witnessed it.

Scottish Land & Estates
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