The first stage in the creation of a Centre for Excellence for sustainable rural development and job creation has been unveiled in Galloway.

A timber office – known as the Green House – was officially opened at Forrest Estates by Ross Finnie, minister for Environment and Rural Development. It has been hailed as the country’s most creative, native and innovative building by the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland.

The office was built by Forrest Estate for The Natural Power Consultants Ltd; the first phase will house 18 people.

Forrest Estate manager Margaret Watson said: ‘We are proud to be able to demonstrate that with good forest management, Scotland’s forests can produce timber of a good quality for a building of this calibre.’