Nature & Wildlife

Lochnaw is home to a wonderful variety of flora, fauna and wildlife that would excite any nature lover.

For 9 months of the year the loch side trees provide a nightly roost for thousands of Rooks that descend upon Lochnaw from the four corners of the Galloway Peninsular providing the most spectacular aerial displays, almost Biblical in nature, before settling down for the evening and repeating their routines at dawn before departing for their daily foraging expeditions. The woodland and lochside provide a home for numerous species of bird life and wildfowl. Falcons, Merlins and Goshawks stalk the darker reaches against a backdrop of chattering Jays, drilling Woodpeckers, hooting Owls, dancing Tree Creepers and greedy Nuthatches. Icelandic Whooper swans regularly stop over on their long winter migrations to sunnier climes further south, joined by over wintering Eider ducks, Greylag geese and Woodcock from Norther Europe. Red, Roe, Sika deer stalk the woods overlooked by our famous red squirrels who keep a watchful eye out for the elusive pine martens who have recently returned to the area.

Following almost 3 generations of neglect a massive programme of rejuvenation has recently commenced to bring the castle woodland under proper management again. Commercial and non-native Spruce species, which have come to the end of their useful natural lives, are being removed to be replaced by native species more suitable and beneficial to the natural environment of Lochnaw. Non-native invasive species, such as Rhododendron Ponticum are being removed alongside any diseased trees, and the broadleaf trees thinned to allow more sunlight to reach the forest floor, encouaging a wider variety in our wildflower/fauna mix and the growth of younger trees as well as supporting trees with specimen potential. Whilst this programme does entail some very short term aesthetic deficits in certain areas it will ultimately lead to a much healthier and diverse woodland environment for all of the creatures that depend upon it for their survival.

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