|Feoch Meadow (SWT)|
|Feoch Meadows is regarded as one of the finest grasslands in Ayrshire and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Along the Feoch Burn, free-draining neutral banks are interspersed with flushes, drainage lines and marshy areas. The burn is fast flowing with deep pools and several small rocky gorges. The flatter fields over the majority of the site are a mosaic of dry and wet acid grassland, rush pasture and mire. Plants that are uncommon or rare in the county, including nine orchid species, are found throughout the site but especially in the vicinity of the burn. The reserve is a working farm and the interest relies on achieving the correct grazing management. The large number of flowering plants makes the reserve excellent for butterflies, and dragonflies can usually be found along the burn on summer days.|
|Wood Of Cree (RSPB)|
The Wood of Cree is the largest ancient wood in southern Scotland. In spring, the woodland really comes alive, with bluebells on the ground and birdsong in the air. The wood is the perfect place to see willow tits, which are declining in the UK, as well as barn and tawny owls.
As well as the Wood of Cree there are several other woodland reserves in the Cree valley. You can find out more about these by using the link at the bottom of this page.
|Ailsa Craig (RSPB)|
|Ailsa Craig lies nine miles offshore, rising to 1,109 feet. The dramatic seacliffs are home to the third largest gannetry in the UK - comprising 36,000 pairs - with a supporting cast of guillemots, razorbills, black guillemots and increasing numbers of puffins.|
|Grey Hill Grasslands (SWT)|
|Grey Hill Grasslands is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation because of its unusual geology and associated flora. Serpentinite, an ultra-basic rock type, is only found in four other localities in the British Isles; the Lizard in Cornwall being the most famous. At Grey Hill, large areas of the south-facing slopes have species-rich grassland with colourful herbs such as thyme and common rock-rose. The locally uncommon juniper and the nationally scarce spring sandwort occur where the serpentinite outcrops. A distinctive base-rich mire has developed on the wide plateau to the east of Grey and Fell Hills. Along old drainage lines, and in natural soakways, the vegetation is dominated by black bog-rush. Rainwater run-off forms basin mires in natural depressions along the foot of the hills. Dry acid grassland and dry heath cover the granite slopes of Grey Hill. Botanists and butterfly enthusiasts enjoy this reserve. Grey Hill stands at 214m and the site is accessed at sea level. Impressive views along the coast and of Ailsa Craig can be enjoyed during the climb.|
|Blackcraig Wood (SWT)|
|Blackcraig Wood is a semi-natural ancient woodland of oak, birch, ash and wych elm. Hazel, rowan, holly and hawthorn grow underneath and where the canopy is less dense the ground is carpeted with ivy, bluebell and greater woodrush. Of the six Scottish bat species, pipistrelle, brown long-eared and noctule bats are found here.|
|Carsegowan Moss (SWT)|
|Carsegowan Moss SSSI, with the characteristic dome of a lowland raised bog, is one of a number of remaining sites which once formed an extensive area of peatlands along the Solway. Cranberry and yellow flowered bog asphodel grow within the sphagnum carpet. Hen harriers, merlins, short eared and barn owls may be seen hunting. In summer look for dragonflies and adders.|
|Kinniegar shore (Ballantrae) is a nature reserve offering nesting grounds for a wide variety of birds in the nearby cliffs, and the shingle beach is especially important for breeding terns. Crossing the banks of the River Stinchar, which runs into Kinniegar shore, is an old arc bridge dating from 1770 that was built from the overlooking Ardstinchar Castle, which was once visited by Mary Queen of Scots when on a pilgrimage. The beach provides a wonderful view of Ailsa Craig. Operated by South Ayrshire Council.|
|Crook of Baldoon (RSPB)|
The view that opens up in front of you as you approach the car park is breathtaking. Cairnsmore of Fleet and the Galloway Hills act as a backdrop to wild saltmarsh and mudflats which positively ooze with birdlife. Watch thousands of golden plovers, lapwings, knots and dunlins wheel in the sky in a mesmerising display.
|Penninghame Pond, a Forestry Commission Scotland wood|
|Wildlife Trust: www.wildlifetrust.org.uk
The Woodland Trust: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Scottish Wildlifw Trust: www.swt.org.uk
Cree Valley Woodlands: www.creevalley.com/
The Forrestry Commission: www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland