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Unesco Biosphere

Glenapp Castle is located in The Transition zone.

Scotland’s First Biosphere is an exciting new way to demonstrate good nature conservation and environmentally sustainable development. The biosphere offers an amazing combination of landscape, wildlife and culture with communities that care about and for their environment. It is a special place in south west Scotland and one of only 580 Biosphere Reserves worldwide and Glenapp Castle is located in The Transition Zone.

UNESCO requires every Biosphere to be made up of three zones:

The Core areas lie at the heart of the Biosphere and include extensive areas of mountain, moorland, freshwater lochs and rivers. They are home to a wide range of scarce wildlife including iconic species like golden eagle, red deer and wild goats.

The Buffer zone of Galloway Forest Park is a working landscape managed to protect the natural heritage of the core areas. The area offers tremendous recreational opportunities in dramatic landscapes. Activities compatible with good ecological practices are encouraged and include facilities like the 7Stanes mountain bike routes and the Dark Sky Park viewing areas.

The Transition area is the part of the Biosphere Reserve where people live and can work together to make the best use of our local resources. Such as the development of low energy housing, environmentally friendly farming, and nature based tourism.

unesco biosphere zone

What We Do

A Biosphere has three main functions:

Conservation:  promoting the preservation of wildlife, habitats and landscape.
Learning: supporting a better understanding of nature and global issues.
Development: fostering a sustainable economy and society.

About the Biosphere

Biosphere Reserves are places with world-class environments that are designated by the United Nations to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. They are places which value and protect the biological and cultural diversity of a region while promoting environmentally sustainable economic development. They are places of cooperation, education and research where local communities, environmental groups, and economic interests can work together.Biosphere Reserves are established through the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB). In order to be designated a biosphere, a candidate reserve must be nominated by a national government and approved by the MAB programme. There are national Biosphere committees, including one in the UK called UK-MAB. It is responsible for the overview of Biosphere Reserves in the UK and reports progress to Euro- MAB and the MAB secretariat in Paris. Proposals for Biosphere Reserve status in Scotland are made to UNESCO through UK-MAB.