Distance/Time: 2 hours
Interesting man-made sculptures within the Galloway Forest Park
Requirements: Walking boots or stout shoes
|Map Reference: Car park NX491/721|
Most people I speak to seem to like an end target when they go for a walk in the countryside, be it the cairn on top of a hill, a monument or whatever. Virtually everyone in Dumfries and Galloway is aware of the Grey Mares Tail on the Queens Way (A712) between New Galloway and Newton Stewart, (not the one near Moffat) but how many are aware of what can be found on what is a relatively short walk from the main car park. Instead of walking up to Murray’s Monument or to the base of the waterfall, why not, for a change try walking up the right-hand side of the burn and over the first ridge. A short distance ahead hidden in an old sheep stell is the ‘Quorum’. This is a group of stone heads carved from local material and set into the walls of this enclosure. Created by Matt Baker and Doug Cocker a few years ago these heads were just the start of a 3-year project called ‘Art in the Galloway Forest Park’. The project was funded by a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association, Forest Enterprise, the Lottery and others. Once you have taken the inevitable candid photos and moved on you soon join a forest road. Here the main waymarked trail goes left, so just to confuse you, I suggest you turn right and follow the road for a short distance until you see the Black Loch. It’s here you’ll find the ‘Eye’, and you certainly won’t miss it. Standing around 8 metres high this perfect spire is made from red-earthen tiles, showing their rough broken edge on the outside. Once you are standing beside it you should soon realise why it’s creator Colin Rose has called it the ‘Eye’! Retrace your steps back to where you joined the forest road, but don’t turn left back down to the Quorum keeping following the road for another 100 metres or so. On your left in the trees 20 metres from the road you’ll find the cameras and I’ll leave you to make up your own mind about these. From here retrace your footsteps back to the car park. There are various other sculptures within the Galloway Forest Park that you may like to look out for. Any of the Forest Enterprise Visitor Centres should be able to point you in the right direction.