Hides and reserves in Ayrshire & Arran

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  • River Ayr Way through Ayr Gorge Woodlands, near Failford
    A trail on the River Ayr Way through Ayr Gorge Woodlands, near Failford

Ayrshire & Arran is home to several reserves managed by the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and other agencies.

Many of these have been granted protected status as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Areas (SPA) or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) in recognition of the importance of many of the species found on them.

Ayr Gorge and Glenbuck Loch are both SSSI with the former an important site for kingfishers, spotted flycatchers, dippers, grey wagtails and great spotted woodpeckers while ospreys have been reported at the latter.

An  SPA, Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands is internationally important for its variety of  breedingspecies such as short eared owls  merlins, and peregrine falcons plus its wintering population of hen harriers.

Catrine Voes is East Ayrshire’s first local nature reserve and is an ideal spot to see otters, kingfishers, heron and dippers.

Elsewhere, a visit to Culzean Castle and Country Park will let you take a ranger-led tour  to spot red squirrels and red deer. At Knockshinnoch Lagoons, reclaimed for nature from its industrial past, offers great access to birds and other wildlife.

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  1. Knockshinnoch Lagoons

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    Nature Centres & Reserves

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    New Cumnock

    Transformed from an industrial site, Knockshinnoch Lagoons is now an ideal spot for nature lovers.

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