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Last Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Red kite cash could top 750,000
Red kite
The kite trail has generated extra income in Dumfries and Galloway
The economic impact of the Galloway Kite Trail could top 750,000 a year, according to a new study.

The Glasgow University report shows the trail - established in 2003 - has become one of the key wildlife tourism attractions in Dumfries and Galloway.

Businesses along the Loch Ken route have seen expenditure increase on accommodation, food and travel.

An RSPB spokesman said the trail was becoming "increasingly lucrative" for the area as a whole.

Dumfries and Galloway Area Manager Chris Rollie said the figures could only be good news for the region.

"This is extremely exciting news for all of us involved in the Galloway Kite Trail," he said.

"When meeting folk along the route and at the feeding station, we are aware of its popularity with tourists.

This demonstrates that nature based tourism is destined to be a major player in the development of tourism in the region
Alasdair Morgan MSP

"But it is encouraging to see this enthusiasm represented in an economically beneficial way for businesses in the area."

He said the red kite was joining the osprey and eagle as a major income generator for Scotland.

"Clearly, the primary aim of the red kite project was to re-establish the species in Dumfries and Galloway," commented south of Scotland MSP Alasdair Morgan.

"The fact that it has had such a substantial economic impact is a great bonus for the local economy.

"This demonstrates that nature-based tourism is destined to be a major player in the development of tourism in the region."

Robust effort

That was a view shared by Scottish Natural Heritage's area manager, Chris Miles.

"The success of the kite trail is demonstrating that our natural resources can play a key part of in the future social and economic development of the area," he said.

"This fully justifies a robust conservation effort.

"The kites have shown the way and we can develop similar approaches with other species."

Red kite numbers soar in Scotland
24 Jan 06 |  Scotland
New move to protect birds of prey
17 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Protection plea for birds of prey
02 Feb 05 |  Scotland

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