During the last two years, a small team of local volunteers have been working on the Borgue Field-name Project – and a recent review of their work has shown that 1000 field-names have been gathered and analysed, 800 mapped and more than 70 people interviewed so far.

Now, this dedication by volunteers is available for all to see at a fascinating exhibition hosted by the Mill on the Fleet, at Gatehouse-of-Fleet.

Names given to places can provide fascinating clues about people and location, past and present, and individual field names are part of the culture of a working countryside. Often passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation, many are named in a very practical way

A field called ‘Twenty-one Acre’, for example is simply a reference to size, while names such as ‘Cushie Wood’ put a spotlight on changes in the landscape that occur over tens or even hundreds of years. In this case, the field name identifies a long-felled woodland that appears to have been the haunt of the ‘cushat’ or ‘cushie-doo’ – the Scots words for a wood pigeon.

Other field names are inspired by the vegetation: a field called ‘Rashie’ refers to a wet field of rushes that has since been drained to provide good pasture.

Some names such as ‘Stackyard’ appear on many farms, while others are unique and part of very local traditions. A perfect example of this is ‘Cuddlecosy’, a name given both to the field and the adjacent lane located on a circular route from Borgue village. With numerous gorse knolls and a convenient distance from the village, it is a place where courting couples could rest awhile away from prying eyes!

The volunteers behind the Biosphere Borgue Field-Name Project are aiming to discover, analyse and map all the field names in the peninsula and would like to extend their studies by hearing from anyone who can shed some light on those that are currently missing. As happens in modern times, when ownership changes fields become known by numbers instead.

Anyone who would like to get involved can get in touch with PLACE's project officer, Nic Coombey (nic@gsabiosphere.org.uk). More information about the PLACE in the Biosphere Project is available at www.gsabiosphere.org.uk and the Field-Names Exhibition is running at The Mill on the Fleet until the end of July.

• The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere was the first in Scotland and is part of a family of more than 700 such biospheres worldwide.