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21 Mar 2019

Free reopening weekend across Dumfries & Galloway

Threave Garden & Estate
Enjoy a fabulous free weekend this month at Threave Garden & Estate, Broughton House & Garden and Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace.

There’s a lot to celebrate following a record-breaking year in 2018 with more visitors and more conservation work undertaken than ever before. This is all thanks to the amazing support the National Trust for Scotland has received from volunteers, local supporters, local trades and suppliers, and communities across Dumfries & Galloway. 

To say thank you and to get 2019 off to a flying start, Threave Garden & Estate in Castle Douglas, Broughton House & Garden in Kirkcudbright and Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace in Ecclefechan will be reopening at 10am on Friday 29 March, and it’s free for everyone all weekend!

This reopening follows one of the busiest winters for the charity across the region with almost a quarter of a million pounds having been invested in our properties. Richard Polley, General Manager for Dumfries & Galloway, said:

‘During this winter, we’ve been busy making improvements at our properties so that our new season will be even better for all our visitors. At Threave Garden, we’ve put in important infrastructure to make sure we’re leading the way in being more environmentally friendly, and the café has been upgraded with more comfortable and stylish seating.

‘There’s a new exhibition gallery at Broughton House about the influence of Japan on the artist E A Hornel; the exhibition has been timed to support the Japan exhibition at Kirkcudbright Galleries.

‘This season, with the help of our volunteers, Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace in Ecclefechan will be open every day. This is a major improvement, as in recent years the property was open only at weekends. By opening daily, we hope we can bring more visitors to experience Ecclefechan and the beautiful countryside of Annandale which so inspired Carlyle.’

Excitingly, this will be the first opportunity for our visitors to experience the new Garden of Contemplation at Threave Garden in Castle Douglas, completed in December 2018. This innovative new horticultural space, generously supported by donors and worked on by the students at Threave’s renowned School of Heritage Gardening, is the first new garden space in over a decade. Michael Lawrie, Head Gardener for Dumfries & Galloway, said,

‘Threave Garden is one of Dumfries & Galloway’s most-visited gardens. Following from last year’s damage due to Storm Ali, it’s a huge credit to the team and the many local businesses we work with that together we’ve not only dealt with the mess left by the storm, but have also delivered the outstandingly beautiful new Garden of Contemplation. Even more, we’ve also just completed a second new landscaping project around the visitor centre to provide better access for all, and started a new kitchen garden for our visitors to enjoy.’

Dr Samuel Gallacher, Operations Manager for Dumfries & Galloway, said:

‘As a conservation charity with a vision to ensure that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected for future generations, we are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from across Dumfries & Galloway, from the generosity of people donating to our Storm Ali campaign, to the encouragement and energy our many friends and volunteers give to the charity every day. We can all be rightly proud of the wonderful work that has been achieved to improve our properties, which we do for the love of Scotland. 

‘We are without doubt enjoying something of a renaissance, and it really is because of the amazing support we receive from our local communities here in Dumfries & Galloway. This special weekend is our big “thank you” to our local supporters, so we warmly welcome everyone to our properties in Dumfries & Galloway free of charge all weekend.’