Site of the Month: Girvan-Ayr Coast (November 2023)

This stretch of coast is internationally significant for its geodiversity and is particularly known for its volcanic and palaeontological interests, including the fossilised remains of ancient spores dating from 360-350 MYA. It’s not just the very old biodiversity fossilised in the rocks that are of interest, this stretch of coast has a mosaic of habitats today including maritime cliff, shingle and rockpools which are home to a wide range of wildlife.

The rockpools her are among the best examples of their kind in the region. Typical species found here include the enigmatic Hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardusGunnel Pholis gunnellus and Common Starfish Asterias rubens. In some of the deeper pools Snakelocks Anemone Anemonia viridis, Dotted Sea Hare Aplysia punctata and even Common Lobster Homarus gammarus may be found.

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima and Turnstone Arenaria interpres can be seen foraging along the rocks, and the coastal waters off Maidens is an important wintering site for Goldeneye Bucephala clangula and both Common Seal Phoca vitulina and Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus can be seen resting on the offshore.

Peter Norman

SWSEIC Project Officer

Website by Red Paint

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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