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Nature Reserves

James Hamilton Heritage Park

At the James Hamilton Heritage Park leisure facility you will find the 23-hectare reserve just outside of East Kilbride. It is a great place to visit if you want to take your family away for the day for something different. Here you can entertain yourself with the rowing boats, canoes and kayaks that are provided specifically for your use on the 16-acre loch.

You can go for a gentle row around the loch while taking in the calm beauty that surrounds you. At the same time your energetic children use up all their energy on the Canadian kayaks. You will notice as you go round the loch that it has reed swamps, willow carr, wet heathland and a bog lining the edge of the water. There are actually two lochs in the vicinity of the Leisure Park, the Inner and Outer Lowe’s that are quite close to each other and are separated by a little woodland made up of mainly birch trees and a small section of valley mire.

Bogs and marshes are common in areas like this, although on a whole they are becoming scarcer. In these areas don’t expect to see a lot happening, as there are not many nutrients to be gained there. Never-the-less there are specific plants that will inhabit these areas and nowhere else, like the Sundews, Bladderworts and the Butterworts all of which are considered carnivorous plants, so keep a look out for those. Interestingly the Bladderwort really does have small little bladders on its stem to “trap and digest” any animals living in the water. Unlike other plants these don’t take root but rather float in the water enabling it to successfully catch food in the water.

You may see otters and Red Squirrels up in the trees that surround the lochs. There are also Common lizards, Dragonflies, Damselflies like the Scotch Argus, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Four-spotted Chaser, and Heath Butterflies that you can see near the heathlands.

At James Hamilton Heritage Park there are other water sports available like sailing and wind surfing; there are bumper boats and pedal boats all of which can be booked at the water-sports center between the months of April to October. When you are tired of rowing then take a walk over to the bird sanctuary or you can go to the children’s play area provided there.