Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership launches Low Carbon Days Out 

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership has launched its latest initiative to promote environmentally-friendly leisure and tourism in southwest Scotland. Low Carbon Days Out is a series of guides designed to encourage locals and visitors to explore the UNESCO Biosphere in the most sustainable ways. Created for the eco-conscious explorer, Low Carbon Days Out challenge the notion that leisure-time fun requires extensive car travel, and provide as an alternative a wide range of adventures by bus, bicycle, and rail.

Supported by additional funding from Scottish Government via the 2050 Climate Group, Low Carbon Days Out are designed to appeal to local people as well as visitors, and especially encourage people to make use of their National Entitlement Cards. Highlights include:

  • Sanquhar & Wanlockhead: a route that takes in Scotland’s highest village before taking the train into East Ayrshire, visiting 18th-century Dumfries House and the nature reserve at Knockshinnoch Lagoons;

  • The Machars: a journey across the peninsula, visiting Wigtown’s bookshops, RSPB Crook of Baldoon, prehistoric sites, and Whithorn, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.

  • Stranraer and the Rhins of Galloway: exploring the rich history of the largest town in the UNESCO Biosphere, and the Rhins’ castle ruins, coastal villages, and curiosities like the Port Logan fishpond.


With an increasing focus on the environmental impact of leisure and tourism, the GSA Biosphere Partnership has spent over a decade promoting outdoor experiences and slow tourism through educational and promotional campaigns, including the multi award-winning Scotland’s UNESCO Trail. The charity supports local businesses and activity providers to reduce carbon emissions through learning workshops and accreditation schemes, with its own officers providing expert advice. 

Low Carbon Days Out are launching six months on from when the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere was named on National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Cool List’ for 2024, and appeared in Rough Guides’ ‘Best Of’ travel recommendations for this year. The GSA Biosphere Partnership works with VisitScotland, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), and the Scottish Community Tourism Organisation (SCOTO) through destination marketing that reinforces the need for leisure and tourism to support rural communities and contribute to a stronger regional economy.

Project Support Officer Matthew McCulloch led the development of Low Carbon Days Out and emphasizes the project's focus on sustainability. “Our UNESCO Biosphere is recognised worldwide as a place where people can connect with nature and heritage, whether they live here or are just visiting for a while. As an organisation we are very much focused on ways that we can protect the special attributes of this region while sharing these with a global audience of potential visitors. It’s an exciting time to be engaged in this work as more and more people look for more sustainable ways to spend their free time. Low Carbon Days Out are a response to these individual and collective goals for leisure and tourism, helping people create magical memories while understanding more about what positive impacts look like for our landscapes, wildlife and communities.”

The new guides can be downloaded from the GSA Biosphere website and used on-the-go via a mobile phone, or picked up as hardcopy leaflets from community venues, travel hubs, and tourist information points. Up-to-date bus and train schedules are accessed directly via QR codes on the leaflets and web links to local transport providers such as Stagecoach and Scotrail. Matthew adds, “We hope that Low Carbon Days Out will inspire more people to leave their cars at home from time to time and explore in a different way. We also hope that Biosphere businesses will take advantage of these and our wider range of publications, which are available free of charge to any local venue or enterprise that would like to provide information on the UNESCO Biosphere to customers or guests.”

The GSA Biosphere Partnership was established as a SCIO in 2013 with a remit to deliver cross-sector initiatives in conservation, education, enterprise and climate awareness. More information about the organisation’s programme of learning opportunities and public events is available at For further information on Low Carbon Days Out or to request hardcopy leaflets for a venue or business, please email