Ochiltree is set to become the first community in Ayrshire to be given Biosphere Community status, much to the delight of many villagers.

At the end of November, the village will officially become a Biosphere Community, showing that they withhold the ethics of sustainable practice, supporting local produce and local economy, and protecting their natural environment.

There are currently four official Biosphere Communities, but all are in Galloway, making Ochiltree the very first area in Ayrshire to receive the exciting title.

And with its Coalfields history and important heritage location, those at Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere are thrilled at the prospect.

Jenna Cains, Community and Education Lead Officer, said: “There are lots of different ways communities can engage with the Biosphere and one of the strongest ways is to commit to becoming a proper Biosphere Community.

“Ochiltree has taken the opportunity to engage with the idea of being located within a UNESCO Biosphere.

“It’s a really special thing. Ochiltree is a brilliant, active community. They love where they live and where they live is so nice.

“There are lots of special things about Ochiltree.

“We worked together with the community to hear from them in their own words what is special about them.

“We did workshops and gathered together community members to generate lots of promotional material which we’ll use as a base to showcase their new status.

“It’s an international designation so it’s really amazing to go from local to global.”

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere covers an area of over 5,000 sq km across SW Scotland, incorporating parts of South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire, as well as Galloway.

There are only 727 Biosphere Reserves in the world, and this area was Scotland’s first.