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RSPB Loch Lomond – Projects
Our new trails mean it's now much easier for people to explore this wonderful place.
Our first residential volunteers arrived in April 2016. The farmhouse is the perfect base for this and these volunteers will play a vital part in the work we undertake in the years to come.
We are continuing to run events and working with local schools and youth groups to bring more people closer to nature.
We’re all ears!
We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch to let us know what you think of our plans and what you would like to see happening here.
Our vision for RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond is that it will be a flagship site for both nature conservation and nature tourism in the National Park, and that it will form a core part of the local community. We’d love for you to be involved with this, be it through volunteering, visiting or simply supporting our work.
As well as being a wonderful place for wildlife, the site is also important in local history. So if a relation of yours used to work on the farm, if you used to walk along the Shore Wood path as a child, or if you know of anything else that’s relevant to the history of the site, please do get in touch.
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RSPB Loch Lomond – Wildlife Conservation
RSPB Scotland is managing the site to make it an even better home for nature. There is a long history of land management here, much of which helped to form the unique habitats found today. Over time, we want to recreate some of those conditions and use historical practices to make this place the best it can be for wildlife and people.
One example of our work is the restoration of the grassland and meadow as low-intensity grazing pasture. This will provide ideal conditions for plants, insects, breeding birds and wintering wildfowl, such as geese. Much of the site has been under-grazed in the recent past, and associated habitats had fallen into poor condition. Work by the team on site and our local graziers over the past 3 years has already had a huge positive impact and this programme of work will continue in the coming years. Over the spring and summer, the cows of local graziers, will graze the grasslands. This helps to keep vegetation under control, improving the conditions for ground-nesting birds, such as redshanks, snipe and lapwings, as well as maintaining the diversity of plant and insect species. We were delighted when a pair of lapwings decided to nest in the field outside our office last year!
This grassland management has been improving the feeding and roosting grounds for the internationally important population of Greenland white-fronted geese who spend the winter in this area. These geese join up with larger flocks of pink-footed geese and greylag geese and dawn and dusk are the best times to experience the spectacle of them leaving or arriving at their roosting sites. Why not join us on one of our goose watches or guided walks this year?
Another example of our conservation efforts is our work on invasive non-native species. Our partners, SNH, have been controlling invasive non-native plant species, such as Himalayan balsam, for many years across the NNR and we continue to work with them. Our Assistant Warden Becky hosts regular work parties with a focus on eradicating these species along the course of the River Endrick.
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About RSPB Loch Lomond
Nature Hub open from 3 April, 7 days 10.00am – 4.00pm
RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond is a special place for wildlife. Located on the south-east shores of the loch, the site has a variety of habitats from ancient woodlands to wildflower meadows and swampy grasslands. RSPB Scotland has been managing the site in partnership with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Scottish Natural Heritage since 2012 to make it an even better home for nature.
On 3 April two new trails will be open offering access to places difficult to reach before. The Airey woodland trail winds through the woodlands, past a small pond and out into a field nicknamed 'Orchid Field' because of the amount of orchids found here in the summer. The Viewpoint Path is fully accessible and leads to views of Ben Lomond and Surrounding Hills while overlooking the fen and woodlands of the reserve. The Nature Hub will be open 10.00am – 4.00pm seven days a week and guided walks are available every weekend at 11.00am. £5 for adults. £2.50 for children.
Part of the work we do at RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond involves carrying out wildlife surveys. Previous surveys have brought us five spotted crakes (there are only 80 pairs of this secretive bird in the whole of the UK) and the discovery of the rare Great Otter Spider. This spider has not been recorded in Scotland since 1994, so, coming across it here, while on a dragonfly training course, was very special indeed. Other wildlife highlights have been catching glimpses of otters and pine martins on our cameras, witnessing ospreys fishing over the water and watching flocks of geese feeding in all the fields on site.
Spring – The woods are full of bluebells, and summer migrants start to return, filling the air with song. Listen out for wood warblers and redstarts.
Summer – Ospreys search for salmon and other fish in the Endrick Mouth. Wildflowers are in bloom. Butterflies including small pearl-bordered fritillary are often seen.
Autumn – Migrating birds, such as ducks, thrushes and waders, stop over to feed on the reserve.
Winter – Greenland white-fronted, greylag and pink-footed geese gather in large numbers to take advantage of the sheltered roosting and feeding sites.
To find out more about visiting, volunteering or about any of our work contact us:
RSPB Loch Lomond, High Wards Farm, Gartocharn, Alexandria, G83 8SB
Site Manager: Paula Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Engagement Officer: Emma Wilcock (email@example.com)
Assistant Warden: Becky Austin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Telephone: 01389 830670
The photographs on the RSPB pages are courtesy of RSPB.
RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International, a partnership of conservation organisations working to give nature a home around the world.
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
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RSPB Loch Lomond – Visiting
PLEASE NOTE THE VISITOR HUB IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE SEASON AND WILL RE-OPEN ON 3 APRIL 2017
Airey Woodland Trail (950m loop) • Viewpoint Path (200m) • Shorewood path (2 miles from Millennium Hall)
In spring stroll through sweet smelling bluebell filled woodlands while listening out for tree pipits and wood warblers calling. In summer look out for ospreys soaring high above, while wandering through wildflower meadows.
The Shore Wood path is open at all times. This is accessible via the Aber Right of Way, which starts from the Kilmaronock Millennium Hall in Gartocharn. To reach the Millennium Hall turn off the A811 onto Church Road opposite the House of Darrach. The postcode for the Millennium Hall is G83 8NF. Park at the Millennium Hall car park and follow the Aber Right of Way signpost on the right of the hall. This will take you through fields than can be extremely muddy at times. Follow the signs for Aber Right of Way and Loch Lomond NNR for approximately 20 minutes and you will reach the entrance of RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond.
This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) we request that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead, clean up after your dog and that you keep to the paths.
We’d also like to request that you please take your litter home.
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RSPB Loch Lomond – Events
THE VISITOR HUB IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK FROM 10.00am - 4.00pm
Please follow this link to see details of current events. Spaces for some events are limited and advance booking is recommended: For more information or to book please call us on 01389 830670 or email email@example.com
Please note: There are currently no toilet facilities on site.