Site of the Month: Ness Glen (March 2023)

Ness Glen is a narrow, steep-sided wooded ravine of the River Doon, situated approximately 3km south of Dalmellington. It supports a rich and diverse moss and liverwort flora, more typical of west coast sites found further north, and includes several nationally scarce species. It has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for these bryophytes, with more than 170 species recorded. The Glen is also important for ferns, lichens (including the spectacular Tree Lungwort Lobaria pulmonaria), and has a wide variety of breeding woodland birds and flowering plants.

Ness Glen woodland is composed of a range of tree species, dominated by Birch Betula spp and Hazel Corylus avellana, with Beech Fagus sylvaticaScots Pine Pinus sylvestris and some massive coppiced Oaks Quercus sppMany of the trees were planted alongside riverside paths created in the Victorian era on Craigengillan Estate. The Estate is now being restored by its current owner.

Ness Glen is adjacent to Loch Doon, home to Arctic Charr Salvelinus alpinus, the only remaining site in SW Scotland for this species, the first freshwater fish to colonise Scotland after the last Ice Age. Ospreys Pandion haliaetus have returned to breed next to the Loch in recent years.

Peter Norman

SWSEIC Project Officer

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SUP is registered in Scotland as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. Registered address: The Southern Uplands Partnership, Studio 2, Lindean Mill, Galashiels, TD1 3PE. Company No. SC200827 / Charity No. SCO29475

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