Garnock East |
Garnock East is a large Brownfield site containing pockets
of grassland, heathland, wetland, woodland, and scrub. The site is now open to the public and one
can wander around freely.
If travelling by car, one can park in the informal car park
beside Bogside Racecourse (NS307400).
Follow the old racecourse track northwest and one can access Garnock
East from the northwest or southwest corners of the racecourse. There are various informal pathways and old
industrial tracks to lead you around the site.
If travelling by bus, one can alight beside Irvine
Royal Academy. Walk along Sandy
Road, crossing the railway (at NS311402) and
Bogside Golf Course before reaching the aforementioned car park at NS307400. The Cunninghame Cycleway runs nearest to the
site at NS312403.
The greatest variety of butterfly species can be found along
the overgrown concrete paths and roads, as these provide both broken ground for
basking and significant assemblages of common wildflowers. Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Green-veined
White, Small White, Large White, Orange Tip, and Peacock are common across the
site. Ringlet can sometimes be
encountered along the woodland edge (e.g. at NS301404). Common Blue, Small Copper, and Small Heath
are common along the informal pathway behind the slag heap at NS300409. Painted Lady can often be encountered along
the network of tarmac roads around the ponds.
Grayling are most commonly encountered along the north western most
stretches of the tarmac road network. Dark
Green Fritillaries are sometimes seen at the neighbouring Bogside Racecourse
and might well turn up at Garnock East. The
cattle field north of the River Garnock often contains large numbers of Small
Tortoiseshell nectaring on the Ragwort.
Nine species of dragonfly and damselfly regularly occur at
Garnock East. The numerous ponds are
relatively inaccessible and so it is in the surrounding land vegetation that
the dragonflies are most often seen.
Indeed, the woodland rides frequently contain literally hundreds of
Large Red Damselflies or Common Darters, depending on the time of year. Common Hawkers are frequently encountered
patrolling these woodland pathways. Blue-tailed,
Common Blue, Azure, and Emerald Damselflies tend to stay a bit closer to water. Black Darters are frequently encountered at
the North East of the site (NS299416). Single
Four-spotted Chasers are encountered across the site in early summer.
& Photo © Iain Hamlin
Butterflies & Dragonflies |
to Observe Butterflies & Dragonflies in Ayrshire