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08 Loch Fad (15.9.17)

Posted 15/9/2017


It’s coming to the end of the growing season, but there’s still plenty to see.   As well as ferns and late-flowering plants, this walk includes sections of hedgerow with a good variety of species; and this is the season for rose hips and blackberries!








The walk begins at Bute Produce, just beyond the Joint Campus at Townhead (GR: NS086634).  Follow the track that leads down to Loch Fad and cross the causeway, the distance being just under a mile.  After the causeway you can either retrace your steps or complete a circuit by continuing along the tarmac road and returning to your start point via Lovers’ Walk (see Walk 04).

I’ve divided the species list set out below into two sections, one for the track down to Loch Fad and a separate one for the causeway (which can, of course, be accessed directly by car using the road to Loch Fad Fisheries).

Many of the species appear on both lists, but on the track section note the colourful stands of Marsh Woundwort, usually blooming throughout August and September.  Further along, where the soil is more acidic, the blue-purple heads of Devil’s-bit Scabious take over, interspersed by the delicate yellow Tormentil hiding among the grasses.

A feature of the causeway section is the collection of ferns on its stone parapet;  the photo below shows, from left to right, Rusty-back Fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort and Polypody.


The back of the Rusty-back Fern, as the name implies, is encrusted with scales, whereas the Polypody has large roundish spores on its back.








Species on the walk include:


    Track Causeway
Beech Fagus sylvatica *  
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa *  
Bracken Pteridium aquilinum *  
Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. * *
Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius * *
Broad-leaved Willowherb Epilobium montanum * *
Broom Cytisus scoparius *  
Bulrush Typha latifolia   *
Bush Vetch Vicia sepium *  
Cat's-ear Hypochaeris radicata * *
Cleavers Galium aparine *  
Common Figwort Scrophularia nodosa *  
Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum * *
Common Nettle Urtica dioica * *
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa *  
Common Spike-rush Eleocharis palustris   *
Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens   *
Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense * *
Daisy Bellis perennis *  
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale agg. * *
Devil's-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis *  
Dog Rose Rosa canina *  
Elder Sambucus nigra *  
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea *  
Garden Privet Ligustrum ovalifolium *  
Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata *  
Goldenrod Solidago virgaurea    
Gorse Ulex europaeus *  
Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus pedunculatus * *
Greater Plantain Plantago major * *
Groundsel Senecio vulgaris   *
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna *  
Hedge Bindweed Calystegia sepium * *
Hemp-agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum   *
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum   *
Hogweed Heracleum spondylium *  
Holly Ilex aquifolium *  
Ivy Hedera helix * *
Ivy-leaved Toadflax Cymbalaria muralis   *
Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica *  
Japanese Rose Rosa rugusa *  
Knapweed Centaurea nigra * *
Lesser Stitchwort Stellaria graminea *  
Maidenhair Spleenwort Asplenium trichomanes * *
Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris *  
Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris *  
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria * *
Monkeyflower Mimulus guttatus *  
Montbretia Crocosmia x crocosmiflora *  
Nipplewort Lapsana communis   *
Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare *  
Perennial Sow-thistle Sonchus arvensis    
Pineappleweed Matricaria discoidea * *
Polypody Polypodium agg. * *
Prickly Sowthistle Sonchus asper   *
Procumbent Pearlwort Sagina procumbens   *
Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria   *
Ragwort Senecio jacobaea * *
Raspberry Rubus idaeus   *
Red Bartsia Odontites vernus *  
Red Campion Silene dioica *  
Red Clover Trifolium pratense *  
Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata * *
Rosebay Willowherb Chamerion angustifolium   *
Russian Comfrey Symphytum x uplandicum *  
Rusty-back Fern Ceterach officinarum   *
Selfheal Prunella vulgaris *  
Sherard's Downy-rose Rosa sherardii *  
Silverweed Potentilla anserina   *
Smooth Sow-thistle  Sonchus oleraceus  *  
Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare *  
Tormentil Potentilla erecta *  
Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca *  
Wall-rue Asplenium ruta-muraria   *
Water Mint Mentha aquatica *  
White Clover Trifolium repens *  
Wild Angelica Angelica sylvestris * *
Wood Avens Geum urbanum   *
Woody Nightshade Solanum dulcamara   *
Yarrow Achillea millefolium *  
Yellow Flag Iris pseudacorus *