Saturday, 6 November 2010

Gruinart Flats

The area pictured above is known as Gruinart Flats, a key part of the RSPB's reserve at Loch Gruinart. These fields are managed heavily all year round, in order to create different habitat for a variety of visiting and resident birds.

The vertical lines you can see on the fields are small drains that carry water off into the larger ditches that run horizontally across the picture, which direct the water into Loch Gruinart itself. The water levels are controlled by a network of pipes and sluices, which at this time of year are set to allow water to run off of the flats as quickly as possible, to provide good grazing for the thousands of geese currently on the reserve. In Spring, the water levels are raised and the flats are flooded, which provides excellent habitat for a variety of waders such as Redshank and Lapwing. 

1 comment:

  1. The drainage system dates from the 1830s when the Gruinart Flats were created from the saltmarsh at the head of the loch by building a seawall and diverting the river which used to flow out into the loch. Several hundred acres of good land were reclaimed in this way. The landowner managed to get a government grant of £30,000 towards the cost. That's a lot of money - not far short of £3 million today!