What does a Ranger actually do?

This week on the reserve our Rangers and volunteer team have been doing lots of path maintenance works including filling in the copious potholes that were appearing at the end of the boardwalk. Strimming back all the overhanging vegetation coming up along the paths and scraping out any of the muddy puddles that have been appearing. It’s hard work but very rewarding, especially when you walk back along all the paths you have been working on, on your way back to the office.

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Falls of Clyde Recent Sightings 18th-24th August


A week of generally sunny weather provided great conditions for winged insects with meadow brown and green-veined white butterflies observed as well as a mass emergence of bird cherry ermine moths. The ermine moths were particularly fond of hemp-agrimony flowers in the Tree Nursery allowing close views during the day.

hemp-agrimony (C) Adam Jones

Hemp-Agrimony is currently flowering in the Tree Nursery providing nectar for the ‘dalmatian patterned’ Bird Cherry Ermine moths (C) Adam Jones.

Other flowering plants on the reserve included, devil’s bit scabious (Wayleave), field scabious (Tree Nursery) and ling heather (Wayleave).

A Family Badger Watch on 22nd produced great views of five badgers emerging from the sett as well as a roe deer.

Interesting bird sightings included, common buzzard (Bonnington Pavilion, daily), 5x stock dove (Walled Garden, regular), grey wagtail (Bonnington Linn, daily), 4x dipper ( 2 Visitor Centre and 2 Bonnington Linn, regular), jay (Dundaff Linn, occasional) and raven (Walled Garden, regular).

Weather Watch

As predicted the east coast did fairly well with migrant birds last week for example, a staggering 230 pied flycatchers were recorded at Spurn in East Yorkshire on the 24th. Here on the reserve I failed to locate any common redstart and to be honest any sign of migrant birds making landfall. The week ahead should be fairly quiet in turns of bird arrival from mainland Europe as westerly winds dominate, however northerly winds on Monday may assist migratory ospreys and it is this species that visitors should look out for flying over the reserve.

Adam Jones – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger

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Posted in Badgers, Birds, Butterflies, Moths, Recent Sightings, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , |

Don’t miss your chance to see these amazing badgers!

Our last badger watch of the year is this Thursday (27 Aug). There are still a few spaces left so if you would like to book please phone us on the number below.

Badger Watch – 6.30pm-9.30pm
An evening walk to our badger viewing area, learning about badgers as you go. Have the chance to view badgers, bats and other nocturnal creatures. Includes a 45 minute walk to the sett. Costs £8 per adult, £4 per child.

For more information and to book call 01555 665 262.

Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger

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Tree Felling at the Falls of Clyde – 2015

It has been almost 20 years since the last round of fairly major woodland work was undertaken here at the Falls of Clyde wildlife reserve. This took place above the dipping pond and above Bonnington Weir. We have now got funding to carry out the next stage and a felling license has been granted which allows us to start work in September this year.

Falls of Clyde Entrance (c) Paul Watt

Falls of Clyde Entrance (c) Paul Watt




















We will be working across the reserve, clear felling small areas of conifers and beech, and selectively thinning other areas. We are also targeting some of the conifer and beech trees that are in the designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) areas of the reserve alongside the river. The badgers and peregrines are protected by strict controls on timings and clear markers around their setts.

As a general rule, most of the conifer trees will be felled by chainsaw and extracted by winch and mini-forwarder. These logs will be sold to help cover the cost of the operations. Timber from the gorge edge trees will be retained on site and allowed to rot down, creating valuable deadwood habitat. The gaps created in the woodland canopy will allow natural regeneration of the native broad-leaved trees that we are trying to encourage. Most areas to be clear felled of conifers already have an existing understory of birch, hazel and ash already present and they will be left to grow on.

We plan to start work on the conifers in late September in the vicinity of the Peregrine Watch Site, and work our way down to the trees near the reserve entrance by late October, early November. Individual beech trees will be taken down over a longer timescale through this winter.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Steve Blow, Reserve manager on sblow@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk or 01555 665 262.

The felling is part of the wider native tree work that is part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership programme.

Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde
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Intern Diary : New Beginnings

Hi all,

Over the past week I have been involved in a variety of different tasks across the reserve. On Sunday we had the final Butterfly Net Workshop of the year with 6 fantastic nets being made, including one which managed to catch a beautiful common hawker dragonfly! So exciting!

The rest of the week has been practical tasks on the reserve including replacing fencing at the walled garden and repairing the precarious potholes at the end of the boardwalk. Keep an eye out for how smooth it now feels underfoot as you walk along the Clyde Walkway.

However my main task of the week is to let you know some big news. It is with a heavy heart and a big wave that I have to tell you all that I am going to be moving on to a brand new role from next week.

After a fantastic 4 and a half months here at Falls of Clyde I will be moving to the Glasgow Science Centre to get started as a Science Communicator. Whilst I am excited to get started, I will be sad to leave the reserve behind.

Over the time I’ve been here I have garnered a wealth of knowledge, seen some fantastic wildlife and most importantly met some incredibly people. From staff and volunteers to visiting members of the public, I haven’t had a bad word to say about anyone.

Laura, Andy and Adam have been a pleasure to work with. Laura is an exemplary leader, an extremely kind individual and a fantastic ranger. Adam is a master birder and all round naturalist who I know will go far in the conservation world, probably managing his own reserve one day. And Andy, the hippy of the ranger team, has been the team member I’ve spent most of my time with out on the reserve and I have learned a lot from him. Thanks to all of you for your generosity with your time and knowledge, I really do appreciate it.

It’s also worth mentioning reserves manager Steve who is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met, as well as one of the most genuinely nice guys I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Falls of Clyde is an outstanding place to work and volunteer; the people are great, the wildlife is excellent, and the memories will last a lifetime. You should definitely consider getting involved.

Well that’s all from me for now. It’s definitely not goodbye, just see you later.

It’s been a pleasure, cheers.


Sam Profile Photo

Posted in Internship |