COVID-19 and Forestry and Land Scotland
FLS has reduced its operations to felling that is contributing to essential business requirements to help keep Scotland ticking over. Our staff are working from home where possible; staff who are working continue to practise social distancing rigorously following Government and NHS guidance to keep safe.
Fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental health and well-being, and for local visitors the majority of walking trails on Scotland’s national forests and land remain open. Be aware that staff cannot maintain our standard checks and maintenance. All our mountain biking trails and all car parks are closed.
All visitors are reminded to maintain social distance at all times.
An old oak woodland that's a haven for wildlife
This wood is treasured by local walkers for its tranquillity, wildlife and archaeological sites. Explore the trails here for stunning views over Cairnsmore and the coast, and watch out for roe and fallow deer, woodland birds, bats and butterflies dancing in sunny glades during the summer.
A gentle trail through peaceful woodland. Watch for fallow and roe deer and woodland birds in the trees.
Generally a firm smooth surface, with a long grass section, which is firm and dry. Occasionally wet after rain. Moderately steep slopes, with some long gradual climbs. One small bridge.
Allow 1 hour
The route also passes a wildlife pond – look out for smooth newts, as well as damselflies and dragonflies zooming around in summer – and enjoy views over Newton Stewart along the way.
Wind through oak and hazel trees and out onto open grassy ground to see evidence of the area’s rich history.
A varied path: firm smooth gravel and grass to rough, uneven and rocky areas. Moderately steep with some short fairly steep slopes. Includes two small stream crossings. Can be wet in places.
Allow 2 hours
The trail leads you past a Stone Age burial site, a medieval corn kiln and through traditionally coppiced old woodland. Information panels along the way reveal Knockman Wood’s fascinating story and the hard work of the Cree Valley Woodland Trust here. Enjoy views over Newton Stewart as you go, and watch out for fallow deer, a host of woodland birds and, in summer, butterflies and dragonflies too.
Knockman Wood Trail
Climb up through peaceful woodland pasture to reach a spectacular viewing point overlooking Barclye Moor and the Wood of Cree. Alternative for a longer circuit: loop up to the viewpoint path along either the Pond Trail or Woodland Trail.
A very varied path from wide forest road to open hill. Some sections are grassy and others rocky and uneven. Some long steep gradients.
Allow 2½ hours
The areas of open woodland here teem with wildlife. In summer, look out for redstarts and pied flycatchers who arrive to nest here in the old trees. In the sunny glades, see how many of Knockman’s 14 different species of butterfly you can spot.
If you are feeling very energetic and have plenty of time, you can also continue over the hill from the viewpoint to the RSPB’s Wood of Cree. This nature reserve is the largest area of ancient woodland in Southern Scotland. The RSPB has a number of marked trails through the woods.
Facilities & access
There are public toilets and a variety of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Newton Stewart.
Knockman Wood is just north of Newton Stewart. From Newton Stewart, cross the River Cree to Minnigaff, turning onto the minor public road signposted to ‘RSPB Wood of Cree’. After about 500 yards, slow down and look out for a small brown sign to ‘Knockman Wood’ on the right hand side near some houses.
DG8 6SL is the nearest postcode.
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