The Leven / Loudoun Hill
The site lies within the Irvine Valley, 4km east of the town of Darvel.
Grid reference: NS 610 375 OS Sheet: 71 www.Streetmap.co.uk
Parking: Parking for several cars in site car park
Access: Formal surfaced access exists throughout the site.
Within walking distance: None within short walking distance
Community Woodland is a new mixed broadleaf woodland planted using a range of
species native to the area.
The site was planted in 1998. The William Wallace sculpture was installed in 2005. The site has been used for battle re-enactments
and has a wealth of folklore, legend and mystery surrounding it.
Woodlands have sown a wildflower meadow in April 2010, immediately by the public
car park. It is envisaged
that the meadow will further enhance the spectacular views of the hill and the sculpture, as well as being highly beneficial to
It is hoped
that meadow management will be something that local schools, communities and
volunteers can be involved in at points
throughout the year.
Diamond Jubilee Site Improvements
of Darvel Community Council, and working with Neil McKenna from East Ayrshire
Council, East Ayrshire Woodlands
have been upgrading the site in time for the Diamond Jubilee
celebrations on the 4th June. This work has involved path and access improvements, installation of new hardwood rustic benches
and a huge new picnic bench wonderfully created by a local craftsperson, development of a new viewpoint as a lovely focal point
which now accentuates the wonderful views down the Irvine Valley, resowing of the wildflower meadow (which unfortunately will
not show full colour until mid July) upgrading of the gate access for all abilities and lots of painting, weeding, improving and cleaning.
Path before Path after
Gate before Gate after
Picnic Bench Improvements / Viewpoint Creation
and design were overseen by Mark Davies from East Ayrshire Woodlands, with valuable
support from assistant
Alison Calcott and training team led by Martin Gilmartin.
12 mixed apple species have also been planted along the new path to create an orchard avenue for the future.
All services and materials have been sourced locally, which was important to us.
part of the phase 1 improvements will be the installation of a historical timeline
/ wildlife interpretation panel and the
fixing of a plaque in recognition of the support of the project to John and Betty Reid of Tasmania, without whom, the project &
improvements would have been difficult.
Historical Timeline / Wildlife Interpretation Panel
Plaque to acknowledge the support of John & Betty Reid
Opening of the site improvements
The jubilee was further marked by the lighting of a beacon at the summit of the hill, on the evening of 4th June.
Selected Bird Species: The Leven / Loudoun Hill provides a varied habitat suitable for a range of species;
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Chiffchaff (Sylvia borin)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Redwing (Turdus iliacus)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Scottish Agricultural College
countryside management student Tracy White recently completed a project based
around the meadow at Loudoun Hill
as a way of investigating the biodiversity, structure and management of a meadow. Click here to view the results of a very interesting project.