Bingham's Pond

Biodiversity Sites in the West of Scotland

City of Glasgow

The Glasgow species list forms part of the City's Biodiversity Action Plan and lists all the species for which there is evidence for their occurrence within the city boundary. Some species groups - for example birds, butterflies, moths, flowering plants and some lower plants - are reasonably well covered, though in some cases confirmation that they are still present would be desirable; information on other groups can be somewhat patchy.

The list is being constantly updated; further details on any species or species group can be obtained by contacting Biological Records; if you have any records to contribute, whether just a single sighting or a whole list, we’d like to hear from you.

Glasgow Central

Glasgow Necropolis

The Necropolis is the second-largest greenspace in the centre of Glasgow, and its wooded areas, sandy slopes, and ivy-covered quarry-face, as well as some unmown flowery corners provide great diversity of habitats for wildlife. It is listed on Historic Scotland's Index of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

See Biodiversity of The Necropolis for a full account, and species list. See also Friends of Glasgow Necropolis for more on the history and conservation of The Necropolis.

More information on notable species which have been found in The Necropolis:

Glasgow Green

Glasgow’s original green space dating from before 1450, when it was gifted to the people of Glasgow by Bishop Turnbull, and extended in 1792; it remains the largest green space in the centre of the City.

Much of the area has been ‘amenity grassland’ and formal flower-beds, though in recent years wildflower areas have been established, thereby enhancing the diversity of pollinating and other insects.

The species list includes records such as waterfowl seen on or by the River Clyde, and though it does include insects in the new wildflower areas, it doesn't necessarily include all of the plant species in those areas.

Glasgow North and West

Glasgow Botanic Gardens (WAG)

The present gardens were designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and opened on part of the Kelvinside estate in 1839, replacing the earlier gardens at Sandyford. The Gardens and Arboretum are mainly on the south of the Kelvin, but the species list also includes records from the Kelvin Walkway from Queen Margaret Drive to the disused railway bridges at Garrioch Drive. Several ‘hot-house alien’ species are included.

See also Glasgow City Council’s website for more details of the history and points of interest including a Heritage Trail (PDF).

Bingham’s Pond (WAG)

A former boating and skating pond beside Gartnavel Hospitals. It was naturalised in 2003 by planting round the edges and creating an island (pictured above). Species list

Hyndland Old Station Park

The Park is part of a former railway station and goods yard, the terminus of a short branch line from the main line which passes through the current Hyndland station. A survey forming part of the Changing Flora of Glasgow project in the mid-1980s found the nationally rare hawkweed Hieracium virgultorum in the station / sidings area. Part of that area was subsequently built on, and we don’t know whether the hawkweed was - and is perhaps still - present in the current Park area.

The lower part of the site has until very recently consisted mainly of an asphalted informal football pitch, but the trees and herbs on the mainly grassy slopes, and along the access-path from the west, supported a variety of invertebrates and birds. And since 2012 the Friends of Old Station Park, in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, have embarked upon a major redevelopment of the park with the aim of enhancing many aspects of its amenity value. As these plans include planting many more trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, as well as creating a small wetland area, this is expected to have a significant positive impact on the biodiversity − by attracting a greater number and variety of pollinating insects, and birds, for example.

The Species list covers this period of change - some of the plants and invertebrates recorded prior to 2012 are, or may be, no longer present, but new species have undoubtedly moved in during the last year or so. Some of the flowering plants listed are known to have been planted deliberately.

North Kelvin Meadow & Children’s Wood

This naturally re-wilded area of former blaes football pitches and tennis courts, between Clouston Street and Kelbourne Street in Kelvinside, has been adopted by the local community in recent years as a community green-space and outdoor education area. Until the late 19th century this area formed part of the grounds of Kelvinside House.

See species for a preliminary species list; there is still plenty of scope to add to that list, particularly as the area matures.

Kelvingrove Park (WAG)

The first purpose-designed public park in Scotland, laid out along both sides of the River Kelvin between 1852 and 1867 from parts of the Kelvingrove and Woodlands estates, with further additions up to 1904. The woodlands on the north bank of the Kelvin opposite Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are listed in the Inventory of Ancient Woodlands; this maturity is reflected to some extent in the species list, though there is scope for finding many more invertebrate species there and in other areas of the park. The recently−established wildflower areas have also been very successful in atracting pollinating insects, and Bioblitzes in May 2014 and July 2015 succeeded in adding over 180 and 68 species respectively - including a good number of invertebrates, flowering plants, lower plants, and birds.

See also Glasgow City Council’s website for more details of the history and points of interest including a Heritage Trail (PDF).

Dawsholm Park (WAG)

A former estate on the River Kelvin, much of the park is mixed woodland (Belvidere plantation) and is a Local Nature Reserve. The pond was a reservoir for a paper-works which occupied part of the site for many years, and the slopes at its western end have been planted as a wildflower meadow which attracts a great variety of insects. The species list reflects this diversity of habitats

See Glasgow CC for further information about the park and its biodiversity.

Hamiltonhill Claypits LNR

A post-industrial site on the slopes east of the Glasgow Branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal, opposite Firhill Park. The main part was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2015, thanks to the enthusiasm of Friends of Possilpark Greenspace. Habitats include species-rich grassland, broom-clad scree, regenerating woodland, and marshy wetland with some areas of open water.

The species list does not, as yet, include data from a 2013 report commissioned by the Friends, which envisages the Claypits as forming part of “a truly stunning, inner-city conservation and recreation project for the benefit of local communities and the wider city”. However, significant progress in this direction is now in progress (2019-21)

Access to the site is from Ellesmere Street, beside the allotments, or via a lane adjacent to the Scottish Canals Offices in Applecross Street; there is now also a pedestrian bridge across the canal from near Maryhill Health Centre.

Garscadden Wood LNR (WAG)

The LNR consists of two parts, separated by Peel Glen Road: to the east is the one of the oldest woodlands in Glasgow, and which is a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC); to the west is a newer plantation woodland.

The northern edge of the woods are the boundary of GLasgow with East Dunbartonshire, and the Antonine Wall impinges on the NW corner. Close by, to the SW, is Cleddans Burn SINC

Locally known for bluebells in the spring; the old wood was also the site of first sighting in Glasgow of Purple Hairstreak butterfly (Favonius quercus), and eight nationally-notable beetles have been recorded there.

Garscadden Wood species list

Possil Marsh SWT Reserve

Glasgow’s first nature reserve and traditional haunt of local naturalists - and many from further afield - since the mid 19th century (or earlier)

See See Possil Marsh species list

Further information about the Reserve will be added later.

Ruchill Park

Formerly part of the parkland around Ruchill House, as was the adjoining site of the foremer Ruchill Hospital. The biodiversity of this park has been much increased by the recent construction of a ‘Conservation Area’ in the SE corner, alongside Panmure Street; the associated ponds are part of a sustainable drainage system (SUDS) for the redeveloped hospital site. See Ruchill Park species list. Purple Hairstreak has been recently seen there, and many other butterflies and day-flying moths are to be seen in the meadow part of the Conservation Area; there undoubtedly remains plenty more to be found.

University of Glasgow: Garscube Estate

A former estate on the River Kelvin, much of it occupied by the University of Glasgow's Garscube Campus; the area west of the Kelvin is in East Dunbartonshire. The species list reflects the mixed grassland, woodland and riparian habitats as well as the Kelvin itself. Sightings from Garscube Allotments are also included.

University of Glasgow: Gilmorehill Campus

Glasgow University moved in 1870 from its 15th century site in High Street to parkland suurounding Gilmorehill House on one of Glasgow’s many drumlins. In the 20th century, the campus extended across what is now University Avenue to occupy the land surrounding a number of smaller Hillhead villas, of which only Lilybank House survives. The Campus also shares a boundary with Kelvingrove Park.The species list reflects the wildlife of the various greenspaces, mainly around the older buildings to the south of University Avenue, some of which have been planted with wildflowers and nectariferous shrubs, but there is also a biodiverse Wildlife Garden, which includes a small pond, occupying former tennis courts beside Lilybank House.

Victoria Park

As its name suggests, Victoria Park was created in 1887 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria; it consists of a mixture of formal and informal flower beds and grassy areas with many mature trees. In recent years it has become noted for nesting Ring-necked Parakeets, and the Sandpit Mining Bee (Andrena barbilabris) which builds nests in some of the sandy flower beds. See species list for details of all species which have been recorded here so far.

The park includes the Fossil Grove SSSI, notable for its fossilised giant clubmosses; see Geological Society of Glasgow for links to further information

See also the Heritage Trail leaflet, for other notable features, including the memoreial to those who perished in the capsizing of SS Daphne

Glasgow East (inc Seven Lochs)

Frankfield Loch

Historically this was apparently a ‘seasonal loch’ which was not always shown on maps - early maps call it ‘Colm Loch’ or ‘Camloch’. 19th century maps show an apparently permanent water body, rather more extensive in size than it is now (the present ‘west fen’ area was open water), but by this time it was being used to supply water to the Monkland Canal. If the water-course linking the loch to Hogganfield Loch is not simply a drainage ditch, but the beginnings of the Molendinar Burn, it appears to have been straightened at some stage in its history.

The Loch, together with the ‘west fen’, are in Glasgow; immediately to the north is Stepps Moss which is in North Lanarkshire.

See species for a list of species which have been recorded so far in/on the Loch and in its immediate surroundings.

Robroyston Park LNR

A post-industrial site in north-east Glasgow, containing several ponds and other wet areas, together with flower-rich meadows which together support a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates. It is particularly notable for the diversity of butterfly and moth species, including the Common Blue butterfly and Six-spot Burnet moth, along with dragonflies and damselflies in abundance. The main pond is often visited by migrant waterfowl, with Reed Buntings around the edges and Skylarks above the meadows.

A full species list can be seen here.

Gartcosh LNR

The LNR is part of the former Gartcosh steelworks site. Biological surveys have tended to focus on amphibians and aquatic invertebrates, so the species list is currently mainly restricted to those groups.

See Gartcosh great crested newts: the story so far and An unusual assemblage of plants at Gartcosh (TGN 23 Part 6, pp22-23); note: the latter link is a 68Mb download from an external website, but the volume is held by the many libraries including those of GNHS, Glasgow University, and The Mitchell Library.

Cardowan Moss LNR

A full species list can be seen here.

(More information follows)

Glasgow South

The Hidden Gardens

An attractive greenspace situated behind the Tramway arts venue, comprising formal and informal herbaceous and wooded areas. Some of the insect life doubtless originates from the edges of the neighbouring railway lines, though insect diversity is encouraged within the gardens, particularly in the wildflower garden and by the provision of ‘bee hotels’.

See species for a list of species which have been recorded so far (many of the plants originated from a wildflower seed-mix); a good number of species have been added to this list in 2016 through light-trapping, pit-fall trapping, and a 'mini-beast hunt' organised as part of RSPB’s Widlfest 2016. See also the Hidden Gardens for more information about the ethos of the Gardens and forthcoming events and activities.

Pollok Country Park (WAG)

The largest Local Nature Reserve in Glasgow, including several areas which are listed in the Inventory of Ancient Woodlands. The CP forms part of the ancient Pollok Estate, and the more formal areas around Pollok House are listed in the Index of Gardens and Designed Landscapes and contain several notable planted trees. The White Cart Water flows through the park, and is notable for water-fowl and otters.

Pollok CP species list

See Glasgow CC for further information about the Country Park and its biodiversity.

Dams to Darnley Country Park (WAG)

This site straddles the Glasgow / East Renfrewshire border and is a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC); also included is Waulkmill Glen Geological SSSI (designated on account of its Lower Carboniferous stratigraphy). The reservoirs at the southerly (East Renfrewshire) end are important for migratory and over-wintering wetland birds.

The northerly part (formerly known as Darnley Mill Park) includes the site of Darnley House beside the Brock Burn. The area has a chequered industrial history, including quarrying and mining; the former mill pond still exists, and parts of the old waulkmill buildings are incorporated into a restaurant building beside Nitshill Road. A number of new ponds have been created in recent years, most recently by Froglife as part of their Living Waters project. The more mature woodlands surrounding the Glen are rich in insect life and fungi.

The diversity of habitats within the park is reflected in the species list.

Find out more about all aspects of Dams To Darnley at the website.

Bellahouston Park

The Park includes the grounds of Bellahouston House and Ibroxhill, together with farmland to the south acquired from the Stirling-Maxwell estate at various times. It includes two notable buildings: the ’Palace of Art‘, now a Sports Centre is the only building remaining from the 1938 Empire Exhibition; and the House for an Art Lover was built in 1996 to designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. See Glasgow City Council for links to historical information and a heritage trail.

As well as the wildlife areas - see species list for full details - there is a walled flower garden (which contains a number of plants collected by 19th century botanist Peter Bar),and extensive displays of Rhodendrons on the slopes.

Festival Park

This park occupies part of the area, and some of the features, of the Glasgow Garden Festival of 1988. See Wikipedia for a brief account of the event and its context.

See also species list for details of all species which have been recorded here so far.

Malls Mire LNR

This site, behind Toryglen Community Hall on Prospecthill Circus, is at the eastern boundary of the City where it adjoins Rutherglen. It takes the first part of its name from a reputed association with Mary, Queen of Scots at the time of the Battle of Langside in 1568. It lies to east of the burn known variously as Polmadie Burn, Malls Mire Burn and Jenny's Burn (now culverted in the Toryglen area).

It was designated a Local Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (L-SINC) by the City Council in the 1980s on account of some rare plants which had been found there during the 'Changing Flora of Glasgow' surveys, and was eventually designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2015 after a further detailed survey of the willdlife as a whole. A further extension to include nearby SUDS ponds, and the grassland along the south side is proposed.

As the name suggests, much of the habitat is wetland, but there is also much woodland, and the site is the only Community Woodland in Glasgow.

See the current species list here.

Newlands Park

Situated at Carlaverock Road, Newlands, G43 2RZ, this is one of the parks and green spaces protected by Fields in Trust in perpetuity. It was a gift from Sir John Stirling Maxwell, and was acquired by the council in 1913.

The park is considered to be one of the more beautiful small parks which hosts a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants including a rockery, rose garden, pergolas and specimen trees, as well as tennis facilities and a children's play area. (Taken from Fields in Trust)

An interim species list can be seen here; we expect to update and augment this list over the coming years.


Shaw Wood, Paisley

an oak woodland of significant conservation interest with an area of about 2.6 Ha, NGR NS493617. It lies on the south-eastern edge of Paisley, the nearest community is Thornley Park and path−marks in the woodland and surrounding fields indicate that the area is frequently used by the local community and others.

It is listed in the Ancient Woodlands Index as “long-established (of plantation origin)”, and The Forestry Commission’s Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (2014) classified Shaw Wood as Upland Oakwood, scoring 100% for both nativeness and semi-naturalness. Its conservation value was recognised in 2014 when it was designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation by Renfrewshire Council in the 2014 Local Development Plan.

A list of species recorded at the site can be seen here - a proposed conservation project is expected to add further species, particularly invertebrates.

Ssee also Dams to Darnley Country Park in "Glasgow South" above

North and South Lanarkshire

Dalzell Estate, Motherwell

The area between Motherwell and the River Clyde, including Baron's Haugh RSPB Reserve, Dalzell Park and Adders’ Gill Wood (but not the area of Carbarns pools, nor the urban fringe). Dalzell Park and Adders’ Gill Wood are listed on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes (which also gives some historical details), and many of the built structures are Listed; all the woodland areas in Dalzell Park, including Adders’ Gill Wood, are classified as 'Ancient'. For further information see Dalzell and Baron’s Haugh

See species for a list of species which have been recorded so far; this list is currently rather lacking botanical species, though it is worth mentioning that the Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus) occurs there.

Holmhills Wood Community Park LNR, Rutherglen

Information in preparation; in the meantime the species list to date can be seen at species

East and West Dunbartonshire

Havoc Meadow and Brucehill Cliffs, Dumbarton

Havoc Meadow, next to Dumbarton Rock on the north shore of the Clyde, is a damp coastal grassland site of 4.5 hectares. With a high plant species count including several orchid species, it was reported (in 1996) to be one of the best sites in South-West Scotland for butterflies - and could be once again if properly managed; it is also a breeding site for the grasshopper warbler. The meadow is backed by Brucehill Cliffs, which are inland sandstone cliffs with dripping wet areas supporting various rare ferns, including the Royal Fern, and bryophytes; Kestrels are known to breed here. The estuarine saltmarsh and mudfats are part of the Inner Clyde Special Protection Area which supports nationally important wintering populations of several species of waterfowl, including redshank, red-throated diver, cormorant,eider, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser and oystercatcher.

History: Havock Farm existed on the site from the early 19th century to the 1930s. Cattle grazed the grassland during the 1940s. The area adjacent to the highest biodiversity area was a District Council landfill site from 1954 until 1980, when it was surfaced with blaes for sports pitches. Even this area is now returning to nature and supports UK BAP priority species such as Cinnabar moths and butterflies such as Small Heath and Small Copper; Speckled Wood appeared there for the first time in 2019. Records indicate a large colony of Butterfly Orchids prior to 1954, they were possibly wiped out by the landfill operations (not found in 1990s surveys), but rediscovered there in 2019 as well as the even rarer Twayblade.

The Friends of Havoc Meadow were formed in 2018 and seeks to have the area designated a Local Nature Reserve. To this end there is a renewed drive to record the site’s rich and varied wildlife; the list of species so far found can be seen here; their Facebook page is here

To visit the site, take the train to Dalreoch and walk along Cardross Road towards Helensburgh; turn left down Havoc Road. If driving, there's a car park at the end of Havoc Road near the shore.

See the City Council and the Friends of Glasgows LNRs websites for further information

information on further sites will follow in due course......