• Sounding the Landscape RSPB Baron's Haugh summer 2019

    Baron’s Haugh is an urban reserve, squeezed between Motherwell and the M74, with man-made noises all around. However in the summer, the reserve is also awash with birdsong, from the melodious blackbird, to the scratchy blackcap. The sound of the River Clyde is never far away, and splashes from the flooded haugh might signal the presence of an otter.

     

    Now, a new project is seeking to harness this unique sound environment…

    • 1 Apr 2019
  • 5 holes and 150 nails later.....

    It is traditional to end the year by re-capping on all the things that have happened over the past 12 months. This year we’ve had so much going on at Baron’s Haugh during November and December that it’s more than enough to fill this blog post!

    We’ve been finishing a piece of work that began with the restoration of Cemetery Marsh: We’ve installed an interpretation panel and have been building a viewing…

    • 11 Dec 2018
  • Summer IS over...but there's lots to be excited about outside!

    Well, it certainly is autumn now, and we’ve had a couple of cold brisk days which have been contrasted with the blustery ones which have given us plenty to do over the last few weeks.

    Storm Callum resulted in lots of damaged trees, some of the debris from which covered large sections of our path network, so it was all hands to the pump to keep the reserve accessible.


    Clearing away a fallen limb in the parkland…

    • 16 Oct 2018
  • Godwit bonanza thanks to loads of mud!

    Summer may be almost over, but the bird-watching season continues, as Michaela Barton reports:

    Wetlands really come alive in the autumn and winter months, with migrating birds stopping in to re-fuel on aquatic invertebrates.

    RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh has proven to be a brilliantly successful spot for waders this year, with black-tailed godwits reaching their highest recorded number for the reserve since 2003. This…

    • 31 Aug 2018
  • New Assistant Warden: Hannah Sharratt

    On the 9th of July I started in my new role as the Assistant Warden for Airds Moss and Baron’s Haugh, having previously worked on the Inner Forth Reserves. I’m excited to get stuck in to my new role so thought I’d give you a bit of a run-down of my days out on the reserves so far!

    During my first week I was over at Baron’s Haugh meeting the very dedicated group of workparty volunteers, preparing…

    • 27 Jul 2018
  • The 'swift' arrival of spring...eventually.

    Lots has happened since our last blog and I guess because of this, time has really flown by at the Haugh! How are we in April already?!…

     

    So what’s occurring? Well, much of our time has been spent clearing up after severe flooding and generally making the reserve safe for visitors. Staff changes are once again at the fore and the Cemetery Marsh habitat creation project has been completed. Read on for more details…

    • 18 Apr 2018
  • Rotters and Longhorns

    Hi, my name is Kyle and I have recently started working with RSPB Glasgow as a social media volunteer. In the past few months, I’ve been creating Facebook and Twitter posts to help advertise various RSPB events going on throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas; hopefully raising awareness of the many different ways that people can get involved with the charity and inspiring more people to join the RSPB.

     

    Given…

    • 3 Nov 2017
  • Legs eleven!

    Since the last blog in July things have been hotting up on the haugh. The water level is now nice and low which means there is loads of wet mud, just waiting for lots of different kinds of birds to probe for juicy insects.

    August, September and October are busy months at the reserve for wading birds in particular because this is when they migrate. Not that waders are the only birds that move around of course; hundreds…

    • 19 Sep 2017
  • A new beginning in the old shire...

    Hello there everyone, my name is Paul Gunn and I’m the new assistant warden for Baron’s Haugh and Airds moss reserves. I come to the role having spent the last 3 years within the RSPB as Community Greenspace Officer for the ‘Giving Nature a Home in Glasgow’ project and the year previous to this with Buglife as Parks and Pollinators Officer. These positions have seen me working all over Glasgow and a few sites in Stirling…

    • 25 Jul 2017
  • The Azores trail race 2017

    I put my best foot forward at the end of May, completing a 70km trail run in the Azores, fundraising as I went for Baron’s Haugh. The final tally fundraising – wise was £260 and thankfully I finished in one piece, just! However, our justgiving page is still live, so if you have an urge to donate to this cause, please feel free to do so by texting haug82 and your amount e.g. haug82 £5 to 70070. Thank you. …

    • 20 Jun 2017
  • A purple patch wildlife - wise...

    Well, it’s been quite the place to be, Baron’s Haugh, if you’re a birder or interested in wildlife at all these past few weeks. We had the alpine swift a few weeks ago, and now we have not just one, but TWO great white egrets! They’ve been here since last Thursday when they were discovered by one of our very regular visitors, Jimmy, and thankfully they’ve hung around and afforded us some great views…

    • 15 May 2017
  • Stephen Owen


    Photo by Louise Greenhorn 
    It is with great sadness that we note the recent death of Stephen Owen who worked as warden at Baron’s Haugh and Airds Moss reserves. He was hugely popular with both staff and volunteers and indeed to the regular members of the public who had the good fortune to meet him in his daily work.
     
    He was both extremely hard working and conscientious and his contribution to the improvement…
    • 4 May 2017
  • A speedy visitor...

    It’s always nice to start a blog with some exciting bird news, and this blog certainly has that! Over the past week or so, on and off, we’ve had an unusual visitor to the reserve, namely an alpine swift! As you can see from the photo below, this is different to the swifts we usual see at the reserve in the summer, mainly distinguished by its white front. It was wowing visitors flying fast over the paddocks looking for…

    • 28 Mar 2017
  • Hedge laying and concrete blocks!

    We had a real cold snap back in the second half of November and that really brought the birds into the wetland. We had a peak count of 35 whooper swans tightly congregated in some of the remaining unfrozen parts of the Haugh and the teal numbers increased too. During our WeBS in December we had 154 which is the highest count this year. A shelduck made an appearance on the December WeBS too which you can see below. I’m…

    • 21 Dec 2016
  • Frosty with a chance of water rail

    As you’ve probably noticed, it’s been cold in the central belt recently and that has brought with it both positive and negative aspects to our work programme and life at the reserve in general.

     

    As I speak, as far as I am aware, we still have 3 green sandpipers at the reserve. Having spoken to some of the long term, regular birders out and about, it seems likely that these delicate little birds will remain…

    • 29 Nov 2016
  • 4,500 bird species seen in a lifetime? Impressive!

    As usual, the last month or so has seen me share my time between Baron’s Haugh and Airds Moss reserves and there’s been lots to keep me busy at both.

     

    At Airds Moss, the monitoring programme we have been doing with the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative has been rolling on. Last month saw us monitoring the dipwells that are located all over the reserve, to see if the areas we are working to re…

    • 12 Sep 2016
  • Otters and waders

    The Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) removal work has continued at the reserve over the last month. We’ve been focusing our efforts on the sections closest to the river, so as to reduce the spread once the river levels get high enough, which they undoubtedly will sooner or later. We’ve nearly finished our work on Himalayan Balsam, much to the delight of most of our volunteers!

    On Saturday our monthly weekend…

    • 9 Aug 2016
  • Find out what's going on at Baron's Haugh

    Greetings everybody, my name is Mark Mitchell and I am the new Warden for RSPB Baron’s Haugh reserve. I’ve worked for the RSPB for several years, mostly in the South and West Scotland region and I knew Stephen, the previous warden, well. Needless to say I am very excited about the challenges that lay ahead and I can’t wait to get stuck in to make the site the best it can possibly be.

     

    The volunteers…

    • 11 Jul 2016
  • Mid winter lantern procession

    the nights may be drawing in, but we will be lighting up the darkness with style on Sunday 6 December. For the second year in a row, there will be a special mid winter lantern procession at Baron's Haugh. There will be the chance during the daytime to construct some wonderful lanterns from willow sticks (harvested from the reserve) and tissue paper. At twilight, we will reconvene for a walk in the woods lit by our new…

    • 13 Nov 2015
  • Views from the hides

    We are sorry that the views from some of the hides are not as good as they could be at the moment. There has been a huge growth in wetland plants this year and they are now stretching further than ever into the mud and water. Unfortunately at the moment we do not have the right equipment to deal with this efficiently or safely. However we should have the right machinery to cut the wetland plants back next year

    There…

    • 6 Sep 2015
  • 10K at Baron's Haugh

    There is a 10K trail run on this weekend, organized by Clyde Runners. Much of the route passes through Baron's Haugh. And with a great weather forecast, what better way to explore this oasis for wildlife in Motherwell. If you have enjoyed your visit to Baron's Haugh and would like to help us look after the nature reserve, why not use our new text to donate service. Donating just a few pounds will help us carry out…

    • 6 Sep 2015
  • Mud glorious mud!

    As summer marches on, we have been starting to let some of the water out of the Haugh, revealing lots and lots of wonderful, sticky, gloopy and often smelly mud. Not so nice for humans, but as ever it is proving popular with plenty of wading birds as they start making their way south from their summer breeding haunts. Armed with their long legs and beaks, all the mud at Baron's Haugh is the perfect place for a feed. In…

    • 19 Aug 2015
  • Get to know your trees this Saturday

    This coming Saturday (18 July), we will be hosting a fun afternoon looking at the different kinds of trees growing in the woods at Baron's Haugh. Plenty of people are really interested in knowing what the trees are around them; this will be the perfect chance to find out more. In February, we ran a winter tree identification course. This one, the summer version, will be far more straight forward... as they now actually…

    • 15 Jul 2015
  • History restored at Baron's Haugh

    We have just finished working on a brilliant project to restore some of the historic designed landscape that makes up much of the nature reserve. Not only will this give an amazing glimpse into the past, but it will create some fantastic new homes for wildlife as well. The work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP). Much of the project has focused on…

    • 28 Apr 2015
  • Lots of trees to be planted

    We are in the midst of all kinds of exciting work at the moment at Baron's Haugh. Thanks to funding through the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP), there is plenty going on this winter to help restore some of the historic landscape at the reserve. Much of what you see around Baron's Haugh was designed deliberately as beautiful grounds for the stately Dalzell House that sits next to the nature reserve…

    • 6 Feb 2015