Sitting between the M8 and M80 to the north east of Glasgow City Centre Hogganfield Park is a Local Nature Reserve that is a great spot for birdwatching not only in Glasgow but across Central Scotland. The park has featured in the BBC programme Springwatch.
The park is dominated by Hogganfield Loch a large shallow loch with a wooded island. The loch and the surrounding grasslands, marsh, pools, ponds, scrub and woodlands were declared as a Local Nature Reserve by Glasgow City Council in 1998.
The loch supports a tremendous variety of birds attracted by a healthy population of invertebrates and fish. You can see birds such as Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye and Goosander at close quarters.
A wetland complex of open water and marsh has been created on the eastern side of the reserve. This area is particularly attractive in summer with the flag iris, reedmace and rushes becoming alive with birdsong. In late autumn and into winter, Jack Snipe can be found in the marsh.
It is not just the wildlife that have benefited from improvements to the park also has a viewing/feeding platform allowing walkers to get access to the loch edge. The park also boasts a children’s play facility situated in the southeast area of the park, orienteering course, sandy beaches beside the loch and picnic tables.
It was the the first Local Nature Reserve in Glasgow to receive a Green Flag award, in 2013, as recognition of the work that has gone in to the park.
There really is something for everyone and really is worth a visit.
The Friends of Glasgow’s Local Nature Reserves have worked since 2010 worked to raise awareness of the city’s Local Nature Reserves and wildlife. To find out what the group are up to check out their facebook page or become a member.
Since we published this post we have been able to speak to Jim Coyle, Chair of Friends of Glasgow’s Local Nature Reserves who shared his thoughts on Hogganfield Park.
What makes Hogganfield Park special?
Put simply, Hogganfield Park LNR is one of the best parks for wildlife in Central Scotland. It is also good for people, young and old, who use it for walking, cycling, jogging, meeting friends or just feeding the ducks.
What are your favourite memories of the park?
One of my most favourite memories is of seeing a family of Whooper Swans landing on the loch at the end of their journey from Iceland. Another is the look on people’s faces when you tell them that the Whooper Swans, the ones with the yellow beaks, have chosen to winter in Glasgow having flown all the way from Iceland!
What does Hogganfield Park mean to you?
Simply, I love it; and I am pleased that the Council, despite lack of funds, has managed to keep finding ways of undertaking improvements for people and wildlife.
What plans do Friends of Glasgow’s Nature Reserves have?
We hope to raise money to allow us to install a small group of floating islands on the loch to act as breeding platforms for birds such as grebes. These islands will also provide excellent conditions for invertebrates and fish to flourish whilst also improving water quality. Over the winter months we also hope to once again carry out a number of wildfowl feeding sessions, guided walks and litter picks and hope that local people will come out again and support us.