Scottish Wildlife Trust Upper Nethan Gorge

Peaceful, ancient woodland with a stunning variety of wildlife

Filed under Nature Reserves

Scottish Wildlife Trust Upper Nethan Gorge Wildlife Reserve is a peaceful ancient woodland set in a gorge carved by the River Nethan, known for supporting a range of wildlife not commonly found in the area such as broadleaved helleborine, wood melick and meadow saxifrage.

  • Winter Footpath

    Winter Footpath

  • Broadleaved Helleborine

    Broadleaved Helleborine

  • Winter Footpath
  • Broadleaved Helleborine

The reserve is located upstream from the 16th century fortifications at Craignethan Castle, owned by Historic Environment Scotland. The woodland’s main footpath follows the route of an old railway line and forms part of the local community footpath network, joining Lesmahagow and Blackwood with the village of Crossford through Lower Nethan Gorge.

The wildflower rich grassland in and around the woodland attracts a wealth of insects and birds. Great spotted woodpeckers and buzzards can often be seen and the flush of new growth in spring and warm autumnal bursts of colour make a walk through the reserve a delight throughout the year. Woodland flowers can be enjoyed through mid to late spring, whilst meadow flowers bloom throughout the summer, attracting a variety of butterflies.

Find Out More

  • Scottish Wildlife Trust Upper Nethan Gorge webpage

Other Resources

Area Guide