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Illustration by Mark Davies  

The Leven / Loudoun Hill

The site lies within the Irvine Valley, 4km east of the town of Darvel.

  Enhancing the landscape    

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



The Leven 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.


East Ayrshire 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

Original meadow before cultivation  raking and building cairns after cultivation  Sowing the meadow

Close up colour  Swathes of colour  Even the patchy area is improving

Enhancing the landscape    Shows (to the left) how the meadow previously looked

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

On behalf 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 Improvements

Path before                                      Path after

Gate Improvements

Gate before                                                             Gate after


Picnic Bench Improvements / Viewpoint Creation






The improvements 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.

The final 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;

Willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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.