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Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch Wildlife Reserve

Loch with breeding and wintering wildfowl, reedbeds, ponds, goose green and woodland.

Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch together form a haven for many forms of wildlife in the heart of Edinburgh. The northern shore of the loch is visited by thousands of people who come to watch and feed the ducks and swans all year round. Away from this very public part of the loch, on the south-east and west edges, there is a band of marshland with reedbeds and willow and poplar woodland. Most of the Duddingston waterfowl breed here. Bawsinch, a triangular shaped piece of land, lies to the southeastern side of the loch and has been extensively planted with native trees and shrubs. It also features fresh-water ponds and a goose-green. The Connel Hide, on the loch shore, gives undisturbed viewing of the birds.

Important for:
Birds, Flowers, Plants, Trees

Best time to visit:
All year round: Birds and trees
June-July: Uncommon plants

Points of interest:
The reserve holds a number of notable bird species. Water rail, great crested grebe, tufted duck, mute swan and mallard breed here, as well as sedge warblers. Bittern, a scare species difficult to see, winter here, as do a large number of wildfowl. There are a number of nationally scarce plants on the reserve including Tufted Loosestrife, Slender-leaved Pondweed and Needle Spike Rush, as well as many Scottish and locally scarce plants. Otter and Water Vole have been spotted.

Getting there:
The reserve lies 3 km from the centre of Edinburgh, at the southern end of Holyrood Park.

Public access to the north shore of the loch and to the cavalry ground to the east. SWT members to obtain keys from Mr C. McLean, 27 Manse Road, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9LF. Access for key holders from one of the two gates leading from Duddingston Road West (eastern boundary). Parking is on Duddingston Road West for Bawsinch, or by Holyrood Park gates for views across the loch.

OS map: 66 NT284725

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