Twenty Acres, Endrick Mouth
Twenty Acres Meadow, part of Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, hosts over 115 meadow and marshland plants including the UK population of Scottish dock and rare tufted loosestrife. It is a remnant of the once wide-ranging hay meadows that could be found in Dumbartonshire and a reminder of both the diversity and beauty that can be found at these sites.
It was saved from becoming rough pasture in the 1980s, when grazing was halted and a more traditional hay meadow cutting regime was reintroduced. This allowed the more sensitive plants stored in the seed banks to prosper once more, as well as providing ideal conditions for breeding birds and invertebrates. The site is still recovering and continues to improve.
- Paula Baker, RSPB Loch Lomond. Header image above © RSPB
Please note, the meadow is only open to the public on specially arranged days – more details to follow
Species to spot
This frothy flower derives its name from its leaves which form a circlet - or 'whorl' - around the base of its stem. Although its related to the spice Caraway, it has no culinary or medicinal use. Image © Plantlife/Bob Gibbons
Small pearl-bordered fritillary
Best time to see: June - July
Preferring damp meadows, this butterfly flies low to the ground frequently skipping from flower to flower to drink nectar. In recent years it has declined dramatically in England. Image © Hugh Venables/CC BY-SA