Saving Shewalton Sandpits
Shewalton Sandpits is an accessible and peaceful urban fringe Wildlife Reserve where you can enjoy dragonflies, butterflies and other species attracted to its diversity of habitats, particularly the ponds and river. The sand-based, aquatic and lush riverbank vegetation support hundreds of invertebrates and plants, many of which are of note. The high wildlife value of this site is, however, threatened by river erosion and Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native plant.
The aims of this Garnock Connections project, therefore, include stabilising the riverbank and reprofiling the sand mounds so that it is easier to get at the balsam to control it. In addition, grassy areas will be created for wildflowers, sand banks put in place for bees, the woodland managed, the pond enlarged and nesting structures installed for sand martins.
Did you know?
The carnivorous aquatic plant, bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) grows in the ponds, indicating how clean the water is. The trap-doors on the tiny bladder on its leaves and stems open when they sense prey, sucking in the tiny creature before snapping shut again – all happening, it is clamed, at three times the speed of sound.
Photo credit: Donald Cameron