Wildlife around The Ecology Centre & Kinghorn Loch
Kinghorn Loch and the surrounding area has a good range of habitats for a relatively compact area. The Ecology Centre site of nearly five hectares comprises 11 distinct habitat types, including mixed woodland, semi-improved grassland, marsh, scrub, ponds and organic allotments. Having such varied habitats means that we have high levels of biodiversity on site.
The BioBlitz we carried out around the Loch in June 2018 produced 430 different species, including 156 plants, 35 birds, 81 butterflies and moths, five damselflies, about 50 flies of various types, seven bees, four millipedes, eight spiders and a handful of other miscellany. A spreadsheet of the BioBlitz results can be supplied on demand to anyone interested. We are continuing to add to the list with ongoing wildlife surveys.
The developing and mature woodlands provide a niche for shade tolerant plants and fungi growing among the roots and fallen branches. Creatures large and small hide, feed and hunt in the undergrowth and in the trees themselves. Lichens and mosses grow on the living trees. When trees have to be felled or branches lopped, piles of logs are left to slowly rot and provide important habitat, especially for insects.
Kinghorn Loch is a haven for water-birds and the ponds and marshes on its western bank teem with tiny creatures which feed and shelter among the vegetation. Look out for damselflies skimming above the surface of the ponds during the warmer months.
The meadow grassland is kept long in the summer allowing flowers to bloom and providing a great area for insects and small mammals. Allowing some areas to become overgrown with plants like hogweed, nettles and brambles creates feeding area for thrushes, warblers, finches and sparrows.
The gardens include many native and other wildlife-friendly plants - look out for bumblebees and butterflies in the warmer months. No pesticides or herbicides are used at The Ecology Centre. Garden pests are discouraged by the use of netting, raised beds and companion plants.
The bird hide
Situated on the banks of Kinghorn Loch there is a bird hide which is available for any keen bird watchers to use. Unfortunately due to persistent vandalism in the bird hide we have added a combination entry lock to the door. For details of the code please call the Centre on 01592 891567.