The Gatehouse Development Initiative

The Gatehouse Development Initiative exists for the benefit of the Gatehouse Community and provides a framework for the development of projects within the community.

Originally formed by the Community Council as a fundraising arm, it was converted to a charitable company which brought additional benefits in fundraising powers and legal protection for members.  The Initiative continues to work closely with the Community Council.

Amongst a range of benefits, the GDI can save smaller projects the need to be formally established in their own right, can provide support with fundraising, provide insurance, indemnity cover and public liability cover, and provide book-keeping/accountancy services.

Meetings are open to all and membership of the GDI to all Gatehouse residents.  New members and suggestions for new projects are always welcome - meetings are friendly and informal.

Many community groups are represented at meetings which provide for a useful exchange of ideas, and for reporting on the progress of current projects. Most projects are run by project managers who are often the initiator of an idea and who may have their own project team.

Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of every other month in the Community Centre at 7.30pm: January, March, May, July, September and November.


The GDI is a limited company, registered in Scotland with charitable status. The meetings are open to all - and all are very welcome!

If you have a good idea for a project which will benefit the community or make Gatehouse a better place - we would love to hear it ...

Key objectives of the GDI include:

  • To assist with the maintenance, improvement or provision of public amenities.
  • The preservation of buildings or sites of historic or architectural importance.
  • The provision of recreational facilities for the public at large.
  • The protection and conservation of the environment.


Current Projects

Cally Designed Landscape

Project Leader: David Steel

The aim of the project was initially to prepare an overall Management Plan that would provide a framework for the management of this historic designed landscape. The preparation of the plan is now complete and a pdf version of the final report is available to download here. Please note that it contains maps and images and is a large file (20.5 Mb). A steering group made up of the representatives of community groups, land agencies, residents and other stakeholders monitors the progress of developments arising from the Management Plan.


Cally Boundaries Project

Project Leader: David Steel

Following on from the Cally Designed Landscape report, the Cally Boundaries is a project to reveal and restore drystone dykes in and around the designed landscape of Cally.  Volunteers surveyed the condition of 17km of drystone dyke and cleared undergrowth to reveal the dykes for the restoration to be undertaken by professional dykers.  Dyke building training days allowed volunteers to learn rural skills while restoring historical features which are important to the setting of gatehouse of Fleet. Dykes restored have included both the main boundary walls which are an important feature of the entrance to Gatehouse, and walls within the park itself including the haha and sunken dyke.


Country Market

Project Leader: Ken Smyth

The Country Market is held weekly on Saturday mornings throughout the year. The market sells mainly regional produce and takes place in the main car park next to the Kiosk. It runs from 9.00am - 12.00 noon. Stalls can vary from market to market but regular stalls provide meat, eggs, bread and cakes, smoked produce, jams and preserves.  More.


Economic Development

Project Leader: David Steel

The sub-group is concerned with issues relating to the local economy including housing issues, commercial development and the promotion of the town. The organisation CADISPA (Conservation and Development in Sparsely Populated Areas) delivered a broad-based survey of the Gatehouse community in 2008 which provides direction for the development of a range of projects within the community. Consultations were held widely within the community. A full copy of the report is available by clicking here. (pdf 2.6Mb)


Fun Outdoors

Project Leader: Lusi Alderslowe
Fun Outdoors is a new community based project that offers a variety of after-school activities to primary age children in Gatehouse. The aim of the project is to encourage children to have fun and learn new skills in a natural outdoor environment. Focused activities include:  cycle training, foraging, whittling, circus skills, orienteering, litter picking, community gardening and bush-craft. These also support an element of free-play and create space for activities such as den-building,  climbing trees, walking, playing games, nature connection, and paddling.


Garries Park

Project Leader: Ron Forster

The sub-group is concerned with improvements to the park. Current projects are the ongoing development of a wild-flower meadow at one end of the park, a sensory garden, and multi-activity equipment for young people.

Gatehouse Carbon Action

Gatehouse Carbon Action is a project aiming to empower local people to make a significant, positive change to their lives and to the wider community by helping them to reduce carbon emissions and save money. A carbon survey programme offers members of the community a free home visit by a local community researcher. The main objective is to initiate a process of behaviour change which will hopefully over time lead to healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.


Incredible Edible Gatehouse

Contact: Ken Smyth
We are passionate about sustainable living, good local produce, and making best use of our resources. It’s about getting closer to the food we eat, education, and community involvement. The Incredible Edible movement began in Yorkshire and now has followers worldwide.  The Incredible Edible team in Gatehouse have created new planters in the Community Centre car park for herbs, and built a drystone raised bed in front of the primary school with the help of the Dry Stone Walling Asssociation.  They have also planted fruit trees in the school grounds and are collaborating with other Gatehouse environmental projects.



Project Leader: David Steel
2012: The GDI is a partner in an exciting new Europe wide project with communities from 6 European countries. The Gatehouse Development Initiative is working with communities from France, Italy, Greece the Czech Republic and Slovakia on a Grundtvig, life long learning project funded by the European Community. More.


Nurture in Nature

Project Leader: Karen Slattery
Nurture in Nature is an outdoor playgroup aimed at families with 0-5 year old children that meets outdoors in in the natural environment every week for 4 hours or more throughout the year. All sessions at present have a co-ordinator present through support from the Lottery Communities and Families Fund and this funding enables it to be free to families at present. The first 12 sessions will include specialist leaders to increase parents' skills and confidence. It is hoped that as parents become more familiar with the outdoor activites undertaken, that the project will become self-sustaining.


Rural Heritage Promoter

Project Leader: David Steel
Many European territories, especially in rural areas, are pursuing projects to promote their local heritage. In many cases however, the local population is not effectively involved in the development of these projects which is important if they are to be sustainable. One way to do this is to encourage local people to become ambassadors for their local heritage. Rural Heritage Promoter is an EU funded project bringing together communities which are already engaged in significant community projects and in involving their local communities.  The project will create a framework for exchange between European communities and the dissemination of good local practices. More.


Wind Turbine

Project Leader: David Finlay
A wind turbine has been installed at Rainton Farm (Cream o' Galloway) outside Gatehouse. This 50kw turbine is a medium-sized turbine and is an example of the installation of this type of device in close proximity to a farm and visitor centre which uses the power which it generates. The sale of the power generated to Cream o' Galloway provides an income stream back to the community. The installation itself also provides a valuable educational exhibit for renewable energy at the visitor centre.

The Kiosk

Project Leader: Deirdre Carlisle

This project was set up in 2008 to make use of the former TIC building in the car park. The project aims to complement the new TIC which is now based in the Mill on the Fleet. The Kiosk aims to support businesses, groups and the community in general in Gatehouse. Visitors will find information and displays on the local shops and outlets together with other information to help you make the most of your time in Gatehouse. The Kiosk will also showcase and sell locally made arts and crafts, locally produced artisan food and other produce such as plants and organic vegetables. Producers will hold tastings throughout the summer and other activities are planned.

Web Site

Project Leader: Ken Smyth

This website is maintained for the community by the GDI. It hopefully provides a helpful range of topics and information, however suggestions for further content is welcome.


Contact Us

If you have an event or activity taking place which you would like listed on the website contact us at

The website is managed by the Gatehouse Development Initiative.  Contact us at or phone 01557 814458.

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