• River Garnock 02

    Garnock Connections

    Connecting people and places within the Landscape


Happening Now



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

Project Location

Get Involved

The Scottish Wildlife Trust runs a volunteer programme and organises events on its reserves, both in Ayrshire and throughout Scotland. For events and volunteering in Ayrshire, contact us using the details provided for this project. For volunteering elsewhere, contact the Trust’s Head Office on 0131 312 7765 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Details

Gill Smart, Scottish Wildlife Trust's Reserves Manager for Southwest Scotland

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01294 279 376

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