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06 Drumreoch Round (27.7.17)

Posted 27/7/2017


 This popular walk starts at the War Memorial car park (NS094585) and, after a short stretch on the Moor Road, heads west along Lord James’ Ride before turning south and returning via the Drumreoch farm buildings.  Botanically, it offers a variety of habitats:  a woodland strip to at the start, then open moorland followed by a bridleway/access track and finally improved farmland.  Although each of these sections has its own attractions (note Whorled Caraway, the white umbellifer that brightens the moorland section at this time of year), I shall concentrate on the wonderful “balcony” track that forms the middle section, from NS079587 to NS083581. 

Lined by mature hedgerows, it has splendid views across to the coast and the Arran mountains beyond.   It forms part of the West Island Way, an alternative access being from the south near Langalbuinoch farm.   Later in the year, as the vegetation starts to die back, the hedgerows with their crop of blackberries and elderberries will become the main focus of attention, but for now it is the floral colours that catch the eye. 

Enjoy the cream and white of Meadowsweet and Hogweed, the purple/mauve of Foxglove, Knapweed, Marsh Thistle and Tufted Vetch and the reds of Red Clover and Red Campion.   Much of the yellow colour is provided by Meadow Vetchling and Greater Birds-foot-trefoil, species which can sometimes be confused;  here is a good place to differentiate them as they grow side-by-side in profusion.  Both are members of the Pea family, but the former is a more lemony colour and, unlike the latter, it uses tendrils (think of Sweet Peas) to assist its upward growth.








 Species on my list for this section of the walk include:


Ash Fraxinus excelsior
Autumn Hawkbit Scorzoneroides autumnalis
Beech Fagus sylvatica
Bracken Pteridium aquilinum
Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg.
Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius
Bush Vetch Vicia sepium
Cat's-ear Hypochaeris radicata
Cleavers Galium aparine
Common Eyebright Euphrasia nemorosa
Common Hemp-nettle Galeopsis tetrahit
Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Crab Apple Malus sylvestris
Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense
Daisy Bellis perennis
Dog Rose Rosa canina
Elder Sambucus nigra
Field Horsetail Equisitum arvense
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus pedunculatus
Greater Plantain Plantago major
Grey Willow Salix cinerea
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna
Hazel Corylus avellana
Hemlock Water-dropwort Oenanthe crocata
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum
Hogweed Heracleum spondylium
Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum
Ivy Hedera helix
Knapweed Centaurea nigra
Lesser Burdock Arctium minus agg.
Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre
Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris
Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris
Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Ragwort Senecio jacobaea
Raspberry Rubus idaeus
Red Bartsia Odontites vernus
Red Campion Silene dioica
Red Clover Trifolium pratense
Red-shank Persicaria maculosa
Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata
Rosebay Willowherb Chamerion angustifolium
Rowan Sorbus aucuparia
Selfheal Prunella vulgaris
Sessile Oak Quercus petraea
Silverweed Potentilla anserina
Sneezewort Achillea ptarmica
Soft Rush Juncus effusus
Square-stalked St John's-wort Hypericum tetrapterum
Tormentil Potentilla erecta
Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca
Upright Hedge-parsley Torilis japonica
White Clover Trifolium repens
Wild Angelica Angelica sylvestris
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor