The message below is from Peter Garson of the Gatehouse Squirrel Group, following more reported cases of squirrel pox affecting red squirrels and the sighting of grey squirrels in the area:

We have again just had to ask the local residents to take down all their feeders and disinfect them, along with any bird tables and other feeding platforms. The worst enemy of reds is an infected one of their species nearby. It acts as a mobile breeding ground for the virus, and a spreader for the disease for as long as it can continue to use the runs, feeders and dreys visited by other individuals. Infected reds typically last for 3-14 days before succumbing.

The grey records for our area were up again in August (26, with only nine in July), and we have had another 14 records for September so far. Three recent foci are apparent: around Doon Wood and Knockbrex, from Rusko towards Ornockenoch, and widely in Cally Woods.There have been scattered sightings in a few gardens in Gatehouse and Creetown (plus one at Balloch Wood curling ponds), Cambret Hill (inside the fenced enclosure for communication masts!), Ardwall, Sandgreen (beachside property), near Carstramon, and at Laurieston Road. We are being especially watchful around Knockbrex, following the recent recovery of a diseased red’s carcase nearby, as mentioned above.

As ever, please remember to:

  • Report your own red sightings at any new locations for the calendar year (including road-kills) to SSRS directly via
  • Report all grey sightings, including repeats and road-kills to me, for possible rapid action and logging with SSRS.
  • Recover any fresh red carcase (but not grey) you find and give me the carcase.

Peter Garson,

Chairman, Gatehouse Squirrel Group

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; T: 01557 814584; F: @gatehouseredsquirrels

24 September 2021


On Friday 24th September 2021, Dumfries and Galloway Council commences a public consultation on the following draft supplementary guidance to Local Development Plan 2:
Langholm Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan. 

The consultation will last until Monday 8 November 2021 and the document is available to view online at

For further information in relation to this consultation please contact the Local Development Plan Team on 030 33 33 3000 and ask for the Local Plan Team or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


To make any comment on the above document, please do so by Monday 8 November 2021
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We know that fuel poverty is an issue which is very much on a lot of our minds at the moment especially with the reduction in Universal Credit Payments which is due to begin at the beginning of October. All of the information below may help with additional support for anyone who may be struggling at this time and who is worried about their costs rising and where to get additional help and advice. We would be very grateful if you could please pass this information onto all of your networks and contacts who would benefit from receiving this.

Thanks everyone as always for your time in advance and we will also be featuring more information on Fuel Poverty during our Challenge Poverty Week 2021 Campaign which will begin next Monday (4th October 2021).

As always, any queries at all, please give me a call on my mobile at anytime on 0788 094 2909 or contact me via e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 There are a range of support mechanisms and organisations available to help anyone who is struggling to heat their home and may be worried about the future costs and how to cover these for the rest of the winter months: 

The Scottish Government-Additional Winter Payments
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to receive additional benefits during the winter months. Details on the various payments and schemes available can all be accessed through the Scottish Government website:

Information and assistance

Dumfries and Galloways Citizens Advice Service
The services specialist advisors provide assistance and advice on fuel poverty as well as many other situations individuals and families may face, they offer:

  • support to those at risk of fuel poverty
  • support to tenants of private rental accommodation at risk of fuel poverty
  • support to those in short term homeless accommodation or in refuge facilities at risk of fuel poverty
  • help in significantly reducing utility bills and ensuring that you can access lower monthly bills moving forward
  • provide benefit advice and financial assessment which may help towards making fuel payments
  • advise which benefits you and your family may be eligible for
  • help you to maximise your income
  • assist you in completing forms.

Call0300 303 4321
Website:  Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service


Home Energy Scotland
Home Energy Scotland is an advice service funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust. People living in Scotland can get advice about:

  • creating a warmer, more energy efficient home
  • reducing energy bills
  • exploring greener energy options like home renewable
  • greener travel options like electric bikes and cars
  • financial support for all of the above, including grants and 0% loans

Call: 0808 808 2282.
or complete an online contact form .

Contact us

Our Benefit Advice and Financial Assessments Team can support residents over 60 years of age in completing a benefits overview, which may help to cover fuel bills. The team can advise you which benefits you and your family may be eligible for and maximise your income. They can give you more information and help you fill in forms:

Call: 030 33 33 3008
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Covid 19 Emergency Fuel Top Up Funding for Tenants
We are working in partnership with the following registered social landlords within our region throughout  the Covid 19 pandemic, to supply top up payments to any of their tenants who are struggling to cover their energy costs at this time.

If you are a tenant of one of our Registered Social Landlords contact them directly and they will be able to help you with additional support at this time to top up your meters or provide help with your energy bills.

If you have any additional queries in relation to fuel poverty or any type of poverty, please contact our Tackling Poverty and Inequalities Team:

Call: 0788 094 2909
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.