Gartcosh Local Nature Reserve (Glasgow)
Gartcosh Local Nature Reserve is one of the new Dragonfly Hotspots established in Scotland in 2014. It is owned and managed by North Lanarkshire Council. Over twenty ponds can be found in meadows throughout the reserve and dragonflies can be easily spotted nearby.
The Site: Gartcosh Local Nature Reserve was established as a habitat for amphibians – most notably the Great Crested Newt – as part of the development of the Gartcosh Strategic Investment Site. Twenty four ponds of varying size and shape were created and amphibians were moved from the development site to the reserve over a period of years. These ponds have now become a haven for wildlife – not only for amphibians but also dragonflies and other invertebrates such as butterflies.
Getting there: By car, the reserve can be found just off junction 2A of the M73. Turn left at the roundabout onto Auldyards Rd for parking & access into the reserve. Gartcosh Railway Station is ten minutes walk away along Auldyards Rd and Craignethan Drive. It lies within easy walking distance of both Gartcosh and Glenboig and links both villages by a network of footpaths one of which is the popular “Ducks Walk”. There is also a well-lit cycleway through the reserve, which runs from Glenboig to Gartcosh Railway Station.
When to visit: The Four-spotted Chasers can be seen on the wing from late May to early August. They hunt over the wild flower meadows surrounding the ponds and the males can be very territorial. On cool days, they can be found roosting on pondside vegetation. The earliest emerging species are Large Red Damselflies and Common Hawkers can be seen into September.
Also good for: Roe deer grazing in the meadows, Great crested newts foraging on a summer evening (if you are very lucky!), a wealth of wild flowers including various species of orchids, Burnet moths and bluebell woodland.
Other dragonfly species found here include Common Darter, Black Darter, Common Hawker, Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly.
Glasgow G69 8EY