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Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.



South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth believes that a successful community bid for Langholm Moor could pave the way for more community ownership across the South of Scotland.

Colin Smyth at Langholm Moor


The local MSP was commenting after a visit to the Moor this week with Wild Eskdale Project Manager Kevin Cumming.

Two community groups are currently considering bids for a part of the Moor after Buccleuch Estates announced its intention earlier this year to sell off about 25,000 acres of its estate in South West Scotland, which includes Langholm Moor.

Buccleuch Estates opened a consultation on the sale of the land on 30 May with a view to putting the land on the market in August if there was no registered interest. After groups two communities - Langholm and Newcastleton- expressed an interest in different parts of the land, the Estate has agreed to extend the initial period for bids until March next year. Colin Smyth believes this should be extended further if need be to allow the community to develop a detailed bid for the land given that they would also have to secure significant funding. 


South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “This really is a great opportunity to bring the Langholm Moor under community ownership and we need to do all we can to support that. It is a spectacular site of special scientific interest literally on Langholm’s doorstep and is already well used by the community and visitors alike, including being one of the best places in the country for hen harriers. I know groups in Langholm and Newcastleton are working round the clock to prepare bids for different parts of the site and they have my full backing. 

“Too much of Scotland’s land is still the hands of too few. A community buy out would not only put ownership in the hands of the local community but would be the best way to safeguard the natural and cultural heritage of this beautiful landscape. At the same time it will open up new opportunities to provide a real economic boost to the area by developing eco tourism on the site, attracting more people to a part of our region all too often overlooked and under promoted”. 

“I’m pleased Buccleuch Estates extended the initial timetable for bids and I hope they will be flexible in allowing sufficient time for community bids to be developed for what is a complex process. I also hope any bid will be given the full support of the Scottish Land Fund through grants. Although around 560,000 acres of land in Scotland have been subject to community buy-out, only 800 acres are in the south of Scotland. Those have been the subject of community buyout such as Castle Loch in Lochmaben and the Mull of Galloway have been a huge success. I hope Langholm Moor is one of the next. A successful community buy-out of the Moor could paves the way for more across the South of Scotland”

WestSound to Cease Programming From Dumfries & Galloway

Bauer Radio have announced that the Dumfries & Galloway based radio station WestSound will cease all local programming on September 1st 2019.




Starting on Monday, September 2nd Ewan Cameron, alreadybroadcasting on Bauer's Greatest Hits stations in Scotland, will replace Kenny Campbell who started hosting the show in April following Tommy Jardine’s retirement.

The Home Run with Michael Smith (3-7pm) will also be networked, replaced by Drive with Gina McKie.

Weekends will also see the loss of local shows as both Saturday and Sunday shows hosted by Lee Medd will be replaced with networked programming. 

Gary Stein, Group Programme Director for the Hits Radio Brand Networks said: “We’re excited to bring these highly acclaimed shows to Dumfries.

“Delivering compelling content is our priority and this means that West Sound listeners in the area can now enjoy programming which includes the multi-award-winning Ewen Cameron’s Breakfast Show, all coupled with the local news, traffic and travel and other local information important to them.”

NEW Post Office Service for Langholm

Post Office  have announced that the Langholm Post Office service will operate from inside Langholm Town Hall, Market Place, High Street, Langholm, DG13 0JH from November 1st 2019.

The introduction of a permanent Hosted Outreach service, presents the best solution in the area and will also create a more secure service in the longer term to the local community for the future. The Postmaster from Scotby Post Office will continue to offer Post Office services and will operate the Hosted Outreach service from within the Town hall.


The new service is planned to commence on Friday 1 November 2019, and will operate on Wednesdays between 10:00 and 15:30, and Fridays between 09:00 and 14:00.

The current temporary Hosted Outreach Mobile Post Office service is scheduled to cease on Wednesday 30 October 2019.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed proposals to locate the Langholm Post Office within Langholm Town Hall- but expressed his disappointment that the hours of opening will remain well below those of the previous Post Office in the town.


Colin Smyth said, “A number of constituents have contacted me with concerns over the future of services for customers from Langholm and across the Esk Valley since it was revealed that the Post Office was going to close last November and I have been lobbying the Post Office to find a way forward”.

“Although the temporary mobile service has served a purpose, it is far from ideal and a more permanent solution is badly needed. The use of the Town Hall is a positive proposal, which I welcome because it also adds to the services available there. However, it is disappointing that a way was not found to increase the opening hours more than just two days a week. I will therefore be urging the Post Office to continue to look at whether longer hours could be considered in the future.”

Post Office Limited are carrying out a consultation to gain feedback from local people on the new service plans.

Responses can be provided here;


Final Chance To Be Part OF Galloway Country Fair

Organisers have issued a call out to local businesses and suppliers to be part of Galloway Country Fair by taking a trade stand to showcase their produce to more than 15,000 visitors to Dumfriesshire this August.


GCF supplied Image Hayley Blackwood


Visitors to Drumlanrig Castle & Country Estate on 17 and 18 August can browse hundreds of stalls from homeware, gifts and textiles to food and drink and the best of countryside clothing and sporting equipment.

There are just a handful of pitches remaining, and organisers are proud to support and offer a platform for local businesses such as Galloway Fudge, The Little Bakery and Border Candles.

The Fair will also welcome traders from further afield including British clothing company Joules, which makes its debut to Galloway Country Fair this August alongside retailers Midland Clothing and Hats off Oxford. 

Anna Fergusson, Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate Manager, said: “We’re proud to provide a platform for businesses of all sizes, and to offer our visitors the very best selection of unique stalls to browse. We already have a host of fantastic traders signed up and, with our Craft Marquee now at full capacity, there are only a handful of pitches left.

“We urge any traders considering taking one of our final pitches to act fast in order to be part of a fantastic weekend featuring some of the best businesses from Dumfriesshire and beyond.” 

To see the full list of exhibitors, visit or to secure one of the remaining trader spots, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A Dram fit for a King

A new blended whisky from the homeland of Robert the Bruce has been crowned the official dram of Netflix’s epic take on the life of the Scottish legend.


Outlaw King, named after the film, has been created by Annandale Distillery in Dumfries & Galloway to celebrate the 14th century monarch, the 7th Lord of Annandale who grew up in the region and became one of Scotland’s greatest historical figures.

The new blend will be unveiled at an exclusive one-off event at Annandale Distillery on Saturday 10 August.

The special open day will be attended by Outlaw King stars James Cosmo and Tony Curran, director David Mackenzie and producer Gillian Berrie, and co-producers Danny McGrath and Brian Coffey.

Open to the public, the event will begin with a Q&A with cast and crew at 2pm. The afternoon will also include food, film props and costumes, and entertainment from members of Clanranald Trust for Scotland, who feature heavily in the film.

A free screening of Outlaw King will be held at Lonsdale Cinema in Annan at 11am, prior to the start of the open day. To book tickets visit

The distillery reopened in 2014 following an extensive restoration project to bring whisky production back to Dumfries & Galloway after almost 100 years.

The Outlaw King whisky features premium Single Malt and Grain Scotch whiskies, including Annandale’s peaty, smoky Single Malt, Man O’Sword.

Outlaw King was released globally on Netflix, which has 130 million paid memberships in more than 190 countries, on 9 November. Shot entirely in Scotland (according to the borders of 1320) it is the largest production to be made in the country to date.

The film charts the story of Robert the Bruce (played by Chris Pine), from defeated nobleman in 1304 to victorious King of Scots at the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307.

Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “The launch of this new whisky brings together two of Scotland’s biggest industries. Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with Netflix’s Outlaw King one of the most recent films to feature the country on-screen. Whisky tourism also plays an important role in the visitor experience, particularly for our international visitors, with one in five visiting a distillery as part of their trip and many more sampling it in our bars and restaurants.

“We’re delighted to support this event in Dumfries & Galloway which brings the region’s connections to Robert the Bruce and our national drink to the fore.”


David Thomson, co-owner of Annandale Distillery, said: “Annandale Distillery is located at the very heart of Bruce’s lands in Annan. It is therefore only fitting that our Man O’Sword peated Single Malt should be at the very heart of Outlaw King Blended Scotch Whisky, giving it an edge that’s as keen as the blade of Bruce’s great sword.”


Gillian Berrie, Producer, Sigma Films said: “I cannot express how happy we are that the spirit of all our efforts are forever captured in this divine liquid gold, made with the best water in the world, from the heart and home of Robert the Bruce.”

For more on Robert the Bruce and to see VisitScotland’s Outlaw King map go to:

Outlaw King Blended Scotch is available to purchase now from Annandale Distillery online or onsite shop. For more information on Annandale Distillery, visit: