North Lanarkshire

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes ©Jimmy Maxwell
Birding North Lanarkshire

North Lanarkshire is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders onto the northeast of the City of Glasgow and contains much of Glasgow’s suburbs and commuter towns and villages. It also borders East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Stirling, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. The council covers parts of the traditional counties of Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire.The area was formed in 1996, largely made up from the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Motherwell and parts from the former Monklands District Council as well as significant elements of Strathclyde Regional Council.There are a number of local nature reserves such as Braedale Hill, Brownsburn Park, Dumbreck Marsh, Gartcosh, Greenhead Moss Park, Kingshill, Ravenswood, Mosswater & Cambusnethan Woods.

Top Sites
  • Baron's Haugh RSPB

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    A real gem for wildlife and for visitors too. Spend time in one of the four hides, looking out at the ducks and swans on the haugh, or take a walk through the woods – in the spring you might hear woodpeckers and nuthatches, while in the winter whooper swans feed on the flooded meadows. If you’re lucky you may even see a kingfisher or an otter on the river. Most paths are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, but may be muddy in bad weather and are steep in places. Wheelchair visitors, please call the reserve in advance for advice.
County Recorder
Useful Reading

  • Fieldguides & Other Birding BooksFor a full list of fieldguides and other books see the general UK page ISBN: Buy this book from
  • Where to Watch Birds in Scotland

    | By Mike Madders & Julia Welstead | Christopher Helm | 2002 | Paperback | 297 pages, b/w illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9780713656930 Buy this book from

Abbreviations Key

  • LNR Braedale Hill

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    The 18ha site now consists of woodland, grasslands, and the Auchter Water. These habitats are home to many insects, birds and wildflowers such as common blue butterfly, northern marsh orchid and skylarks which can often be heard singing at the top of the hill.
  • LNR Brownsburn Community Park

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    Brownsburn Community Park LNR is an extensive area of grassland, woodland, and wetland. From an industrial past, the site is now a green oasis for local people and wildlife in urban south Airdrie.
  • LNR Cambusnethan Woodlands

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    The site is mostly covered in ancient and semi-natural woodland. It is split into two woodlands, Carbarns wood to the west and Highmainshead wood on the east. The hollow shell of Cambusnethan house lies between the two blocks of woodland.
  • LNR Dumbreck Marsh

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    The marsh is an open area of countryside, including ponds and large areas of grassland. It is an ideal place for a gentle walk or for wildlife watching. In the past it was covered with coke and coal waste and crossed with mineral railways lines. It is now home to grassland birds, including lapwing and skylarks, and the water rail.
  • LNR Gartcosh

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    Gartcosh Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is an important site for protected species in the form of the great crested newt colony (the largest in Scotland). Many people visit the reserve to enjoy the wealth of wildlife and the range of habitats present which vary from the bluebell woods to the wildflower rich meadows and small ponds full of dragonflies and of course the great crested newts.
  • LNR Greenhead Moss Community Nature Park

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    Greenhead Moss Community Nature Park is a 100ha site consisting of many different habitats including ponds, wildflower meadows, remnant raised peat bog, old and new woodlands. These habitats are home to mammals including badger, roe deer and fox with many insects and birds present.
  • LNR Kingshill

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    Kingshill is a special place for people and wildlife close to the village of Allanton. Its meadows, woodlands and ponds provide a variety of habitats where beautiful creatures live.
  • LNR Mosswater

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    The young woodland and floodplain grassland to the north of Broadwood have been radically improved to maximise their value for local biodiversity. Larger ponds with shallow mud edges have been created for waterfowl and wader birds. Small ponds have been created as habitat for frogs and newts. Deep flooded ditches have been dug to support a water vole population. Nest boxes have been erected to attract breeding or roosting barn owl which historically inhabit this area.
  • LNR Ravenswood

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    Ravenswood LNR is a valuable wetland site of 17 hectares on the north side of Cumbernauld bordering the A80. It is one of the council's Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) due to its wetland flora and fauna.
  • RSPB Baron’s Haugh

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    Baron's Haugh is an important community nature reserve in Motherwell and is a real gem for wildlife and for visitors too. Spend time in one of the four hides, looking out at the ducks and swans on the haugh, or take a walk through the woods.
  • SWT Cumbernauld Glen

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    The ancient woodland of Cumbernauld Glen is a haven for wildlife and also provides an important, relaxing environment for local people. Early spring sees pockets of snowdrops appearing and summer brings a profusion of bluebells. The meadow attracts butterflies, including small pearl-bordered fritillary.
  • SWT Forest Wood

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    Forest Wood is on the southern edge of Cumbernauld. It consists mainly of plantation woodland, with small areas of lowland peat bog, heath and grassland. A number of flowering plants and fungi thrive, with damselflies and palmate newts dwelling in the pond. Cuckoos can be heard during springtime.
  • SWT Garrion Gil

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    Garrion Gill is a small ancient woodland reserve clinging to the steep sides of the Garrion Burn. The woodland canopy and underlying soils provide diverse plant habitats and cover for badgers and roe deer. Woodland birds include spotted flycatcher, sparrowhawk and woodcock.
  • SWT Luggiebank Wood

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    Luggiebank Wood has grassland, scrub and riverside woodland habitats. Alder and birch cover has allowed a rich and diverse ground flora to develop where wildflowers flourish. Kingfishers and dippers can be seen diving into the meandering Luggie Water and badgers may be spotted in the woodland.
  • SWT Seafar Wood

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    Seafar Wood is a relatively young strip of woodland west of Cumbernauld Village. The woodland habitat is still developing and clusters of bluebells and other woodland flowers are already established. Areas of scrub and remnants of agricultural hedgerows provide habitats for birds.
Places to Stay

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  • Rosslee Guest House

    Rosslee Guest House is a former Victorian church manse which is now a comfortable, family run guest house situated between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The town of Airdrie is situated 12 miles from Glasgow, 35 miles from Edinburgh, 17 miles from Stirling and 14 miles from Lanark. The M8, M80 and M74 are all within 10 minutes drive of the house which makes it an ideal central location for exploring the Central Belt and the Borders of Scotland. Pam and Alan McFadzean look forward to welcoming you to Rosslee and to making your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

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