Milton Loch and Woodlands is owned by Boat of Garten Community Company and managed by the Company’s Wildlife Group (BoGWiG).
Although all the planned events down at the loch had to be cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic, plenty has been going on. Volunteers have carried out a range of maintenance jobs as part of their daily exercise – mowing, painting the willow sculptures with linseed, strimming, etc and we are grateful to them. The Ark of Caledon, a stunning willow boat, was created in December 2020 and is already a firm favourite with locals.
The next volunteer working party will be held on Saturday 29th May from 10 am until 11.30 ish. Meet at the bench near the hide if you can join us. Sadly no refreshments this time but please bring your own.
The woodland and loch have shown their importance to support locals health and well being. It has been lovely to see so many people enjoying it in different ways – picnics, playing, quiet reflection, walking and wildlife watching all playing a big part in helping people at this difficult time. Events that were planned (Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Willow Weaving etc) will be rescheduled once it is safe to do so.
More about the site
Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the woodland and listen to the bird song. Go down to the dipping pond and hunt for mini beasts. Sit in the hide and see if you can spot the Herons and Mallards, maybe even the Otter. Relax on one of the benches, have a picnic or read your book. Take your time and you may see the Roe Deer who regularly come down to feed in the woods. However you spend your time here, enjoy it.
Though we do not know exactly when the loch was dammed, we do know that prior to the railway coming in the 1860s, Milton was a population hub, with a watermill and a sluice gate established to control water to the Drumuillie mill. The land underneath the trees and grassland that we see today was formerly a rubbish dump.
A range of breeding and migrant birds use the site including Willow Warblers, Reed Bunting and Blackcaps. Treecreepers, Blue Tits, Chaffinches and Robins can often be seen in the trees along the pathways. On the loch, look for Mallards and Tufted Ducks, sometimes joined by Wigeon, Teal and Goldeneye. The herons from the heronry are often seen patiently waiting or stalking through the reeds. In Autumn and winter, the loch is an important staging post for Whooper Swans.
Information provided by John Davison and Steve Goodall.