Festival
Partners

Wild Goose Festival is an annual, family-friendly exploration of nature, creativity, and place. Produced by The Stove Network and held in Dumfries and surrounding areas, it unites key partners from across the region in celebration of the migratory route of barnacle geese between Svalbard and the Solway as well as the five other species that flock to this part of Scotland.

Read more about each of our partners below:

British Trust Ornithology (BTO)

British trust ornithology (BTO)

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is a UK charity that focuses on understanding birds and, in particular, how and why bird populations are changing. Our vision is of a world where people are inspired by birds and informed by science.

We strive to achieve this vision by harnessing the skills and passion of thousands of volunteers to advance our understanding of ornithology, in particular, through our bird surveys and schemes. We combine the resulting scientific outputs with interesting stories and powerful images to engage more people in this work and to inspire people to take action. Working in partnership with volunteers we have been monitoring the UK’s birds since 1933 and have extended our coverage to include other wildlife too.

BTO Scotland are really pleased to help support the WGF with representation form Staff, regional representatives and member volunteers.

Cycling Dumfries

Cycling Dumfries

Cycling Dumfries campaigns for better cycling and walking conditions in and around Dumfries, for all people, regardless of age and ability. The group runs regular social rides which are free and open to anyone, on any kind of a bike, trike or handcycle. Its vision is for a Dumfries where people are happy to leave the car at home for most everyday journeys, contributing to making the area a healthier, happier and more vibrant place.

Dumfries and Galloway Council Arts and Museums Service (East)

Dumfries and Galloway Council Arts and Museums Service (East)

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Arts and Museums Service (East) cares for six museums across Dumfriesshire. This includes Robert Burns House (the last home of the poet), the Robert Burns Centre, the Old Bridge House (the oldest house in Dumfries), Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum and Annan Museum.

Dumfries Museum opened in 1836 as the Observatory and Camera Obscura and it has been welcoming visitors ever since. With diverse collections, exhibitions and events, our museum seek to inspire, intrigue and illuminate.

Fair Scotland

Fair Scotland

A collective of Scottish Showpeople, artists & researchers dedicated to promoting the heritage & experiences of Scottish Showpeople, & advocating for the continuation of contemporary fairground culture.

Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere is recognised internationally as a world class environment for people and nature. Covering almost 9,800km² of southwest Scotland’s land and sea, its UNESCO Biosphere designation was awarded in 2012 for the region’s fantastic array of landscapes, wildlife, cultural heritage and learning opportunities. The Biosphere ethos is all about connection and collaboration: creating partnerships that help communities, businesses, local people and visitors experience and celebrate sustainable living. Through its rolling programme of projects and initiatives Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere supports and promotes conservation, enterprise, education, and climate awareness – a local organisation striving to achieve global goals.

LIFT D&G

LIFT D&G

LIFT D&G is based in Northwest Dumfries, we help people from the local area, We are working with Wild Goose Festival this year, we are interested in in making sure people of Lochside are able to participate in as much activity around the town as possible with travel and money barriers being removed. We have worked with WGF for a number of years, and it is always well attended. It is also a great opportunity for people to take part in events that they normally wouldn’t think about.

Loch Ken Trust

Loch Ken Trust

Loch Ken Trust is a charity that has been formed to put the community at the heart of decision-making that affects them.

Our purpose is, “To promote the natural, cultural and recreational assets of the Loch Ken area, for the benefit of the public and to support sustainable local communities”

The Loch Ken Ranger Service was set up in 2021 and is one of the first community-led Ranger Services in Scotland. Our Ranger Service has ensured the areas around Loch Ken are better cared for, with a noticeable reduction in dirty camping and anti-social behaviour.

A top priority for Loch Ken Trust is caring for our environment, restoring and improving our ecosystem, and protecting, cherishing and celebrating our fantastic environment at Loch Ken for the years to come.

Loreburne Shopping Centre

Loreburne Shopping Centre

The Loreburne Centre is a family friendly retail and leisure destination for Scotland.  Boasting an array of world class facilities and home to many famous high street brands as well as unique independent operators.

MOOL (Massive Outpouring Of Love)

MOOL

We are a Dumfries and Galloway charity that delivers aid, funding and human kindness to people in need, both here and abroad. We sort, pack and send donations to those struggling on the refugee road, but we also work with newcomers who find themselves settled in the area, as well as people living here who are displaced, in crisis or great need – human migration is at the heart of what we do.

NatureScot

NatureScot

NatureScot is Scotland’s nature agency, working to improve our natural environment in Scotland and to inspire everyone to care more about it, so that all nature in Scotland – our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species – is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits.

Pamis

PAMIS

PAMIS, promoting a more inclusive society, is the only charity that solely supports children, young people (CYP) and adults with profound learning and multiple disabilities (PMLD) and their families to lead healthy, valued and included lives

RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland

Mersehead Reserve

The RSPB is dedicated to creating a world richer in nature. We use our expertise in birds and nature to provide evidence-based solutions to the nature and climate emergency, helping people live well in harmony with nature. We work with our partners to keep common species common, recover threatened species, protect and restore special places and inspire and enable everyone to act for nature. We are the UK partner of BirdLife International, operating in the four countries of the UK, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. We also work globally, wherever our shared nature goes or the need exists.

We are pleased to take part in the Wild Goose Festival, being dedicated to conservation and protection of all nature, including wintering waterfowl like Svalbard barnacle geese and other species that visit Dumfries & Galloway.

Solway Firth Partnership

Solway Firth Partnership

Solway Firth Partnership is an independent charity that works to support a vibrant and sustainable local economy while respecting, protecting and celebrating the distinctive character, heritage and natural features of our marine and coastal area. We do this by working on both sides of the Solway Firth, aiming to engage with as many people as possible and encourage positive action to shape the future of the area.

The inner Solway is a distinctive place with extensive saltmarsh, sand and mudflats that are protected by multiple national and international conservation designations. Some of these designations are concerned with special landscapes while others focus on nature conservation. Perhaps the most iconic wildlife species is the barnacle goose, whose entire Svalbard population migrates to the Solway to escape the hard winters in the Arctic Ocean.

Species on the Edge

Species on the Edge

Species on the Edge is a partnership of NatureScot and seven nature conservation charities, all dedicated to improving the fortunes of 37 priority species found along Scotland’s coast and islands. The National Heritage Lottery Funded project will be delivering a four year programme of work to tackle the impacts of environmental change on wildlife, to benefit both nature and people.

The project is working across seven landscape-scale areas and the Solway is one of these regions. Focus species on the Solway include Greenland White-fronted Geese, Natterjack Toads and Brown Argus Butterflies. Project action on the Solway will include survey and collation of conservation data to provide a better understanding of the issues; working with communities to identify priorities and co-produce local plans; and providing new volunteering and supporting opportunities for a range of participants. Furthermore, by working with and through communities, local initiatives, and land managers, we will create opportunities for people to get involved in efforts to save these species for future generations.

The Stove Network

The Stove Network

The Stove Network is Scotland’s only arts-led development trust. Based in Dumfries, the charity operates an arts venue in the heart of the High Street with a diverse programme stretching across music and literature, visual and public art, film and theatre, to town planning, architecture, and design. The Stove Network operates region-wide to raise the profile of our creative community through regular opportunities, workshops, events, and projects to create a place where culture, community, and enterprise work together to support a new vision for Southwest Scotland.

WWT Caerlaverock

WWT Caerlaverock

WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre was opened in 1971 and this October it is our 50th anniversary! The reserve was originally set up to protect the Svalbard barnacle geese, the entire population of which spend the winter on the Solway Firth. In the late 1940s there were just 300 birds left and this has increased to over 40,000 birds today.  At WWT Caerlaverock, 8-10,000 geese can be seen daily in winter, as well as large numbers of ducks, waders, swans and raptors.  We are proud to be part of the Wild Goose Festival in Dumfries. Visitors to our wetland reserve will have a unique opportunity to see and hear the amazing spectacle of thousands of barnacle geese. There are also opportunities to take part in events such as the dawn flight of geese, creative writing workshop, guided walks and much more.

From October to March, daily commentated wild swan feeds take place at 2pm at the Sir Peter Scott Observatory. This is a fantastic opportunity to see wild whooper swans up close, as well as mute swans, wigeon, tufted ducks, teal and mallards.  The visitor centre shop has a wildlife art gallery, and the shop sells optics, wildlife books and bird food, hot drinks and snacks.

Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere

Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere

The Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere is one of only a handful of biospheres found within a capital city. It is internationally recognised for its biological diversity yet actively managed to promote a balanced relationship between people and nature. With over 330,000 people living within its boundaries and more than a million more living a short distance away, the challenge to maintain that balance is achieved through effective and innovative partnerships involving a diverse range of stakeholders including state, semi-state, NGO’s, businesses and communities.

Dumfries Museum

Dumfries Museum

We run fascinating and engaging museums in Annan, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Sanquhar and Stranraer. All free to visit and run by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Ellisland Farm & Museum

Ellisland Farm & Museum

At Ellisland Robert built his own house, a splendid six apartment house (described as a “modest mansion” by visitors in 1789) with views over the Nith. Ellisland is a national treasure as it is so unchanged and shows us exactly how Robert and Jean lived during the peak of their wealth and the height of his poetical inspiration. In 1922 the farm was purchased by Mr George Williamson, a wealthy Edinburgh wool merchant who was an admirer of Burns. On his death the house, farm and its collection were bequeathed to the nation for the sole purpose of “The contemplation of the life and works of Robert Burns”.

The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust, a new trust formed in 2020, continues to manage the house and farm as a museum and are supported by volunteers. Visit the farmhouse built by Robert Burns for himself and his family.  Find out more about daily life in the late 18th century in the farmhouse kitchen and be inspired in Robert’s Spence where many of his famous poems were written.

Watch our evocative film about Robert and Jean’s life on the farm and discover the displays in the Granary Museum.

Explore the farm buildings, stable and orchard from the time of Robert Burns – you can even take a peek in his outside loo!

Wander the banks of the River Nith which Burns loved and found so inspirational, including the walk where he wrote Tam o’ Shanter and the field that inspired his poem The Wounded Hare.

Rhins of Galloway Coast Path Project

Rhins of Galloway Coast Path Project

The Rhins of Galloway Coast Path project is creating an 83-mile circular walking route to experience all the stunning scenery of Scotland’s south west coast from the windswept cliffs of the Mull of Galloway to the sheltered waters of Loch Ryan. A key part of the project is the programme of activities and interpretation to inspire and engage both local people and visitors with the cultural, built and natural heritage associated with the path and the coast of the Rhins.

Scottish Ornithologists’ Club

Scottish Ornithologists’ Club

The SOC is both a bird watching club and a valuable network of volunteers aiming to promote the study, enjoyment and conservation of wild bird and their habitats across Scotland. Members of the 15 branches range from ornithological experts to birdwatching beginners who share friendship, support and a common interest in birds, nature and conservation and enjoy a programme of varied talks, outings, conferences and a quarterly journal Scottish Birds. With the exception of a very small number of administrative staff based at Waterston House, members are volunteers, gathering vital, impartial data which is collated and shared with other organisations to provide an essential tool for future conservation and planning. about Scotland’s wild birds.

Sisse Brimberg, Colin Tennant, Saskia Coulson

Sisse Brimberg, Colin Tennant, Saskia Coulson

Sisse Brimberg, is an award-winning photographer for National Geographic Magazine, and has published more than 30 stories ranging from the Far Eastern corners of Japan’s paper trade to Northern Europe’s Viking culture. Born and raised in Copenhagen, her work is published and exhibited around the world. Sisse is a Contributing Photographer for National Geographic Traveller.

Saskia Coulson and Colin Tennant are an award-winning artist partnership who develop projects through a lens-based practice, combining genres of documentary and fine art. Using visual storytelling, they create artistic, documentary and environmental work for a wide range of clients and organisations as well as their own personal projects.

Stuart Macpherson – Solway to Svalbard

Stuart Macpherson – Solway to Svalbard

Stuart Macpherson is a musician, composer and sonic artist based in rural Galloway. His work has a strong focus on place and environment and how we are connected to it, in particular the remote and rural and its relevance on a bigger stage.

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