Celebrate the life and work of Donald Watson with a new walk and art trail

Professor Roger Crofts with one of the Watson Art Trail panels
Professor Roger Crofts with one of the Watson Art Trail panels

Donald (1918-2005) was best known for his accurate depiction of birds and their habitat. He contributed to over 30 books, much of his most famous work being based on the landscape of the Glenkens.

The Watson Bird Project is an initiative of Roger Crofts with Chris Rollie, the Watson family and Glenkens Community & Arts Trust.

It aims to link birds, nature and the arts as a celebration of Donald’s work following activities including scientific lectures, art events and guided walks, as well as an ongoing installation in the Balmaclellan Smiddy and an exhibition presented in the CatStrand.

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The Donald Watson Walk begins at Dalry Town Hall and takes approximately two hours around the town of Dalry to St John, drawing inspiration from Watson’s work.

The Watson Art Trail, which again begins and ends at Dalry Town Hall, allows participants to visit nine sites around the Glenkens which feature in or inspired some of Donald’s most famous paintings.

The route brochure and leaflets are available at www.watsonbirds.org, CatStrand, the sales outlets at The Glenkens or by looking at the signs at Dalry Town Hall.

Both trails were funded in partnership by the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme and the Blackcraig Wind Farm Community Fund.

Professor Crofts, director of the Watson Bird Project, said: “I am delighted that the beacons and interpretive panels are now in place. This makes the information provided in the two brochures tangible.

“I hope residents and visitors will gain new perspectives on the changing landscape of The Glenkens and be stimulated to produce their own response in whatever medium they prefer, such as a photo, painting, sketch, poem, prose, music.

“This work could not have been completed without the financial support of the Blackcraig Fund and Galloway Glens, as well as the support of many farmers, land and property owners for the placement of the signs, and the voluntary assistance of Galloway staff Glens.”

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