There are six major rivers in Ayrshire; Garnock, Irvine, Ayr, Doon, Girvan and Stinchar. Lowland rivers like these are highly dynamic environments and encompass a wide variety of habitats. Rivers which are unmanaged have the highest level of biodiversity. All of Ayrshire’s rivers support Atlantic salmon and sea trout, as well as other river fish species such as minnows, sticklebacks and eels. Ayrshire rivers also support all 4 UK mammals (mink, otter, water vole, water shrew and otter). The river Ayr is the largest river in Ayrshire at 63km from its source at Glenbuck reservoir, to its estuary on the Firth of Cylde. It has a total catchment area of 574 km2 and has varied habitats along its length due to differing geology, land uses, topography and channel shape.

Ayrshire has an abundance of Lochs, both large and small. One of the best known is Loch Doon, located in East Ayrshire is the largest freshwater Loch in Southern Scotland. From north to south the loch is 9km and supplies the River Doon, while the loch itself recieves its water supply from Loch Enoch in the Galloway hills. The Loch is importance for its population of Arctic Charr, and in 1986 was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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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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