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31 Dunagoil (18.6.21)

Posted 18/6/2021



On a glorious June morning, the rocky headland that is Dunagoil makes an impressive sight, but no less impressive is the range of wild flowers that can be seen in the course of a short, easy walk from the road to the caves at its northern end.  Start at the layby about half a mile before the end of the Plan road, where there is an information board erected by the Bute Conservation Trust (GR NS088537).

Brooklime and WatercressBrooklime and Watercress

Within the first 50 yards after going through the gate you can see at least 25 different species in flower!  The plant with blue flowers and large leaves in the burn on the right is Brooklime, a member of the Speedwell family, while the abundant white flowers are those of Watercress.


Follow the track down the gentle slope and after the second gate veer right so as to stay on the raised beach, the level ground between the cliff at the northern end of Dunagoil and the sea.  Here are some of the many flowers you can see on this species-rich stretch of coastline, categorised by colour.

White: Pignut, Heath Bedstraw, English Stonecrop, Sea Campion;

Thrift and Sea CampionThrift and Sea Campion

 English StonecropEnglish Stonecrop








Red/pink/purple: Red Campion, Ragged-robin, Wild Thyme, Thrift, Northern Marsh-orchid, Foxglove;

Wild Thyme and Bird's-foot TrefoilWild Thyme and Bird's-foot Trefoil

 Heath Bedstraw and Mouse-ear HawkweedHeath Bedstraw and Mouse-ear Hawkweed









Yellow: Tormentil, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Silverweed, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Yellow Flag Iris;            Blue: Germander Speedwell, Heath Milkwort.

Thrift, Mouse-ear Hawkweed and Wood SageThrift, Mouse-ear Hawkweed and Wood Sage



Yellow Flag IrisYellow Flag Iris


 Wall PennywortWall PennywortThe raised beach ends with a mass of Yellow Flag Iris and views across to Arran. 



As well as inspecting the two caves under the cliff here, have a look on the rock face for Wall Pennywort, a plant that, as here, usually favours north-facing locations.



On the way back, take a short detour to the start of the rocky coastline on the other side of Dunagoil Bay.  Walking on this part of the coast is very hard going because of the dense cover of Gorse, Burnet Rose and stunted sycamore. 

Dunagoil BayDunagoil Bay


Bloody Crane's-billBloody Crane's-bill



But it’s well worthwhile making the effort for just a very short distance to see one of the less common species to be found on the island, Bloody Crane’s-bill.  The base-rich rocks here provide it with a suitable habitat.



 The list of plants in flower for this walk is unusually long, but it’s still far from comprehensive!  

Bloody Crane's-bill Geranium sanguineum
Brooklime Veronica beccabunga
Burnet Rose Rosa spinosissima
Cleavers Galium aparine
Common Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Common Chickweed Stellaria media
Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum
Common Nettle Urtica dioica
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Corn Spurrey Spergula arvensis
Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens
Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense
Curled Dock Rumex crispus
Daisy Bellis perennis
English stonecrop Sedum anglicum
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys
Gorse Ulex europaeus
Groundsel Senecio vulgaris
Heath Bedstraw Galium saxatile
Heath Milkwort Polygala serpyllifolia
Hemlock Water-dropwort Oenanthe crocata
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum
Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum
Lady's-smock Cardamine pratensis
Lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica
Marsh Bedstraw Galium palustre
Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre
Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris
Mouse-ear-hawkweed Pilosella officinarum
Northern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza purpurella
Pignut Conopodium majus
Pineappleweed Matricaria discoidea
Prickly Sowthistle Sonchus asper
Ragged-robin Silene flos-cuculi
Red  Dead-nettle Lamium purpureum
Red Campion Silene dioica
Red-shank Persicaria maculosa
Sea Campion Silene uniflora
Sea Radish Raphanus raphanistrum ssp maritimus
Shepherd's-purse Capsella bursa-pastoris
Silverweed Potentilla anserina
Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare
Thrift Armeria maritima
Tormentil Potentilla erecta
Tufted Forget-me-not Myosotis laxa
Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca
Wall Pennywort Umbilicus rupestris
Water-cress Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum
Wavy Bittercress Cardamine flexuosa
White Clover Trifolium repens
Wild onion Allium vineale
Wild Thyme Thymus polytrichus
Wood Sage Teucrium scorodonia
Yellow Flag Iris pseudacorus