Finding wildlife in Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

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Year of Natural Scotland 2013
Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Celebrate Scotland's natural beauty throughout 2013

VisitScotland Greater Glasgow and The Clyde Valley What to See and Do Guides
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Download your brochure for more on Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

  • Looking down on the Falls of Clyde, a waterfall with trees either side
    The Falls of Clyde
  • A long-horned, long-haired cow
    The majestic Highland cow
  • The Kelvin Walkway, near the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    The Kelvin Walkway, near the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • A bridge in Pollok Country Park
    A bridge in Pollok Country Park

Forming part of Scotland’s populous Central Belt, Glasgow & The Clyde Valley offers visitors the opportunity to experience a surprising variety of wildlife on nature reserves and trails within easy reach of the city or even in quiet spots set in the heart of the urban spread where it can feel like you’re alone in the wilderness.

Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, forms the centrepiece of the region and boasts some of the world's oldest city parks, many of which are excellent for nature-spotting.

City wildlife

Look out for otter, mink and kingfisher by the White Cart in Pollok Country Park, home of the eclectic Burrell art collection. Foxes and roe deer rub shoulders with the herd of Highland cattle in the park woodlands, where an interesting variety of plants grow under a wonderful mixed bag of tree species.

Also in Glasgow, enjoy the ample wildlife-watching opportunities along the Kelvin Walkway, at the Scottish Wildlife Trusts’s Possil Marsh reserve and Hogganfield Park (where over one hundred species of bird have been recorded).

Waterfalls

At the Falls of Clyde in Lanarkshire, part of the World Heritage Site at New Lanark, you can join bat and badger watching evening events throughout the summer, or see peregrine falcons from a special viewing facility all year round. Walk along trails through the woods to see many kinds of birds (such as five species of tit, several warblers, spotted flycatchers, great spotted woodpeckers and tawny owls) and appreciate the stunning falls as you meander along.

Wetland birds

Situated within the Clyde-Muirshiel Regional Park, the RSPB reserve at Lochwinnoch is one of the few remaining wetland sites in west Scotland. The visitor centre, with its viewing tower and telescopes, gives good views over the marshland and loch, where in the winter you may see a wide variety of wildfowl and goosanders. In the spring, great crested grebes and lapwings can be seen displaying and sedge warblers can be heard singing in the marshland. The reserve is ideal for all the family, as the trails, birdwatching hides and visitor centre are all easily accessible. A programme of events runs throughout the year.

The Baron’s Haugh RSPB nature reserve in Motherwell contains a meadow, marshland, woodland and the River Clyde, making it rich source for wildlife. More than 170 species of birds have been recorded here and you may see kingfishers by the river and whooper swans on the flooded meadow (or haugh) in the winter.

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