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 Ayrshire Site Guides Index                                                    Garnock East  Iain Hamlin 

 | Garnock East | by Iain Hamlin


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.


Getting there...

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.Garnock East flowers  Iain Hamlin



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.



Bugloss at Garnock East  Iain Hamlin



Text & Photo Iain Hamlin


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