Boosting the birds at Gailes Marsh
Gailes Marsh Wildlife Reserve is a rare pocket of wetland and mixed woodland in the fairly open, generally dry habitats along the Irvine coast. It supports good numbers of birds but there is the potential for more including several of conservation concern. New habitat can be created for them by digging large scrapes at the edge of the pond that will fill with water, creating brambly log piles from felled conifers and building a new sand martin nesting structure. Renewing the fence will contain the horses needed to stop the rushes from spreading and keep the insect-rich grassland in the right condition.
Gailes Marsh is at the heart of a programme to re-introduce the Small Blue Butterfly to Ayrshire so this site is also part of Garnock’s Buzzing
Did you know?
The Small Blue Butterfly is the UK’s smallest. It only lays its eggs on one plant – the kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulgaris). Only one egg tends to be laid per flower head as the young caterpillars can be cannibalistic.