Habitats - Farmland
Farmland provides remarkably diverse habitats for a wide variety of plants and animals. The majority of the farmland on Arran is focused on rearing livestock so there are plenty of grass meadows often rich with wild flowers as well as various types of grasses.
Farmland provides remarkably diverse habitats for a wide variety of plants and animals. The majority of the farmland on Arran is focused on rearing livestock so there are plenty of grass meadows often rich with wild flowers as well as various types of grasses. Some of these fields are left ungrazed to be cut as silage creating another microhabitat. The surrounding hedgerows contain many types of shrubs, trees and other plants which provide the perfect environment for small mammal, insects as well as nesting sites for birds. Even the apparently stark dry stone walls that border many fields are home to a myriad of creatures as well as colourful lichens and mosses. Many farms are also the borderland into the high moors.
Most of the farmland is found on the south end of Arran, and much of it can be seen as you drive south from Brodick to Kildonan, then westwards to Kilmory, and northwards through Sliddery to Blackwaterfoot and Machrie, and finally Shiskine on the String Road. For closer encounters there are footpaths that take you through farmland such as the walk to the standing stones at Machrie; to Cleats Shore near Kildonnan, and from the north end of Lamlash along the shore to Hamilton Rock, carrying on to Dun Fion, Corriegills and ultimately Brodick for a longer walk.
Hare, field voles, buzzards, hen harriers, migratory geese, swallows, lapwings, orange tip butterflies, dragonflies, lizards, slowworms.
Springtime brings alive the hedgerows as the wild flowers bloom. Hare may also be seen boxing at this time of year. During spring and summer swallows and many other birds may be seen on or over the fields looking for food to feed their growing young, including buzzards and hen harrier. Late summer is also a good time to spot dragonflies zipping around or resting on a bush. Autumn and winter brings various migrating birds to Arran. Large flocks of greylag geese may be seen grazing, as well as Redwings, Fieldfares and Waxwings stripping berries from the hedgerows.