Cathkin Braes LNR

9. Cathkin Braes LNR – NS620580

Cathkin Braes was declared as a Local Nature Reserve by the City Council on 27 March 2013.

It is located in the south of the City bounded by Ardencraig Road (to the north) and Cathkin Road (in the south). See map.

Being 148.6 hectares in size, it is now the largest of the LNRs in the City.

In summary, it can be split into two key habitats – a large woodland called Big Wood, along the northern half of the LNR, and a species rich grassland with some pockets of heath and marsh, to the south.

Big Wood (in the distance) and grassland – copyright Jim Coyle

The woodland is mainly Beech, Sycamore and Oak of plantation origin and in spring Bluebells and Wood Anemones are an impressive sight.  They also support a good range of woodland birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher.  

Path through Big Wood – copyright Jim Coyle

The grasslands support many plant species that are locally rare such as Burnet-saxifrage, Greater Butterfly-orchid and Heath Spotted-orchid.  

Grassland – photo courtesy of GCC

They also play host to Skylarks with Linnet and Reed Bunting  present in the gorse scrub and marshy wetland areas.

Linnet – copyright Jim Coyle

A mountain bike course was constructed within the LNR for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and funding also provided to enhance the grassland.

Signage for Mountain Bike course – copyright Jim Coyle

Mountain Bike Course – photo courtesy of GCC

At least 10 species of butterfly have been recorded in the LNR with Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary being the most significant. There are also numerous moths including the day-flying Six-spot Burnet.

Six-spot Burnet moth – copyright Jim Coyle

Put simply, Cathkin Braes LNR is one of the most species rich sites in the City and well worth a visit.