Photo of farm steading taken from top of park HillText Box: Text Box: Grennan Moss from the Old Steading Site
Text Box: Farming, Forestry, Wildlife, History and Firewood in Galloway

JB & AM McAllister

Airies Knowes Farming, Forestry and Firewood Operations


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Text Box: Airies Knowes is a small farm in the Machars district of Galloway owned for the last 14 years by Brian and Alison McAllister, mind you few of the local people would recognize the name since (as is common in the area) the farm is generally referred to by a local nickname  - in this case “The Boo”.
The primary business of the farm is the extensive production of lamb and beef with an adjoining forestry operation, 
Until recent years the farm has been let as a grazing unit, however since 2007 some of the farm has been operated “in-hand” and since 2010 completely so.
Forestry interests encompass some 306 acres—mainly commercial coniferous plantation but with a good proportion of hardwoods on some of the better land. Much of the woodland was neglected since planting and in the last 15 years there has been a gradual program of management mainly based around clearing rides and firebreaks. This allows us to produce firewood and biomass products for our own use and for local sale.
In common with most farms in the area the Boo goes back a long way. Electoral rolls from 1840 indicate 10 persons in two families living there and we have been in contact with the descendants of one of those families which emigrated to the States in the mid 1880s.  The farm was formerly part of Ravenstone Estate which was broken up in the mid 1960s. In general the existing tenants purchased their holdings from the liquidator and the Forestry Commission purchased the non agricultural parts which included various areas of deep peat “mosses” as they are known in Scotland - and some woodland. The Forestry Commission planted the mosses with Sitka Spruce and Lodgepole pine in the early 1970’s but then divested themselves of these areas in the 1980’s on the grounds that they were too small and fragmented for FC holdings.
Habitation of the area however extends much further back than that, there is an Iron Age Crannog in the White Loch and there used to be a Castle on the shores of the loch although little sign of it remains today
As may be expected from the mixed nature of the land there is a good variety of both habitat and wildlife to be see around the farm and woodlands, roe deer and foxes are relatively common and we have a good variety of bird and plant life

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Text Box: The Boo looking North to the Galloway Hills