Spot the famous Red Squirrels, Badgers, Deer, Rabbits & Swans.
The wildlife in and immediately surrounding Barend is varied and plentiful - roe deer, badgers, rabbits, and the iconic red squirrels are regularly seen.
Red squirrels are extinct in large parts of England and Wales, and are under threat in their remaining territories. At Barend, helped by a consistent and sustained feeding programme, they are flourishing. You would be unlucky indeed if you failed to see this charming animal rushing about the treetops or skipping over the grass when you visit Barend. There are feeding boxes and a bench outside Reception for those who are especially keen to spot them.
The badgers are very active as the day turns into night, as evidenced by the freshly dug holes every morning! Top tip - if you want to see the badgers, put out a sprinkling of peanuts under your balcony or verandah, and sit back and watch them.
Birdwatching throughout the year is a joy at Barend;
- In winter there are hundreds of Barnacle Geese flying over the site, going inland to feed from their overnight roosting area at the nearby RSPB reserve at Mersehead. This phenomenon was documented in 2015 by the popular BBC programme 'Autumnwatch'.
- In Spring, the air is alive with the sound of drumming of woodpeckers, preparing for the breeding season. We have both Green Woodpeckers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
- In Summer you will see our resident Mute Swans gracefully gliding over our own Barend Loch with their cygnets - one year they produced eight! The swans can be very protective of their young and have been known to get a bit riled up when people get too close - so it is best to keep your distance to avoid being chased!
Barend is situated right next to Bainloch Deer Park where groups of between 1 and 10 people can be taken on an hour long 4x4 tour of the park to spot the Red, Roe, Fallow & Sika deer as well as a small herd of Feral Goats.
Share the free fishing with the otters at Barend Loch, where 14lb carp have been caught! Fly fishing for trout can be arranged nearby and the rivers of the region are famous for salmon fishing.
Galloway Forest Park has been awarded Dark Sky Park status, the first such designation in Europe.
Barend is not in that league, but it is the case that there is very little light pollution here.
Road lighting is deliberately kept to a minimum - each of our chalets are equipped with a torch to make walking at night safe. When you sit out on your balcony on a clear night you will be amazed at the quantity and clarity of the stars you will be able to see.
(Published in The Daily Mail October 2016)
Dumfries & Galloway is celebrating its abundance of wildlife in the Wild Seasons Festival.
For further information and photographs of wildlife in Dumfries & Galloway, visit Keith Kirk's website.