Location and Access
The loch and contiguous wetlands lie close to the west of Dalmellington on the A713 Ayr-Castle Douglas road. There are a number of informal footpaths around the site and it is reasonably easy to access on foot from Dalmellington which is on a regular bus route from Ayr. Excellent viewing is had from the west bank. This is reached by following the B741 from Dalmellington to Straiton and then, within 1km, over a hump-backed bridge, going left along a byway towards Dalcairney Farm. There is one modest layby for parking (NS 465 055) and turning a car and a few places where a vehicle may ease onto the verge of the narrow road. Please park with consideration for other users.
These are narrow country roads with no surfaced lay-bys or safe refuges for wheelchair users to avoid passing traffic. Limited opportunities to view from car. One surfaced lay-by at south end of loch on Dalcairney farm road reasonable view of loch.
Easy cycle ride from Dalmellington.
This site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with reedbeds and wetlands around the loch. It is excellent for wetland breeding species and wintering birds. Whooper Swan and Greylag Goose are present in good numbers in winter and Bittern has been recorded. Flocks of finch including Brambling can be found along the beech-lined road. Mallard, Teal, Goldeneye and Dabchick are likely sightings and Shoveler on occasion. Water Rail, Snipe, Whinchat, Grasshopperand Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting are present and Willow Tit have been observed in the scrub around the road end. Raptors seen include Kestrel, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Hen Harrier. Otters can be seen feeding and playing.