The Wildlife Information Centre

Biological data for south-east and part of central Scotland

A fly (Conops)
 | Home  |  | About Us  |  | News  |  | Recording  |  | Events  |  | Request Data  |  | Support Us  |  | Useful Links  |  | Contact Us  |

Excursion reports:

Recording Excursions

TWIC organises a programme of excursions each year, some in conjunction with local recording groups. These excursions are planned primarily to obtain biodiversity data from sites across our region. Priority is usually given to sites proposed as Local Biodiversity Sites (pLBS), as this means that any data generated from the excursions can be used in the site assessment. Recorders of all groups of organisms are welcome. Whether or not you have been on one of our excursions before or are a newcomer you are most welcome to join us.

Please contact the excursion leader beforehand (leaving your contact telephone number) so that they know to expect you. It is rare that we have to cancel an excursion, but should this occur we will endeavor to contact you by phone. Also, please check the website the evening before the outing if possible as any last minute changes will be published here.

Join the mailing list: If you would like to receive notifications of forthcoming TWIC recording excursions by email, please contact and ask to be added to the excursions mailing list. Note that you can unsubscribe from this list at any time by emailing us. Details on how we hold and use your personal information can be found in our privacy policy which can be downloaded from the TWIC documents page.

For information on previous year's recording excursions, please click on the links at the side of the page.

Recorders enjoying a visit to Mavisbank, Midlothian. Photograph courtesy of Gary Hovell (LARG).

2019 Excursions

Saturday 18 May – Straiton Pond, Midlothian

A joint meeting with the Edinburgh Natural History Society (ENHS).

Site details: Straiton Pond is located on the south side of the Edinburgh city bypass close to Straiton Retail Park, and north of Loanhead (vice-county 83 Midlothian, site centred on NT282667). The site consists of a pond and adjoining habitats on an old industrial site. Straiton Pond was designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 1991 and is managed by the Midlothian Council ranger service for wildlife and people. Further information on the LNR can be found here. The site was designated as a Local Biodiversity Site (LBS) in 2009 for its wildlife interest, including breeding amphibians.

Leader: Douglas McKean and Natalie Harmsworth. Contact: or mob 07833019493.

Aim: Rachel Mcaleese from the Midlothian Council Ranger Service will give us a short introductory talk to the site. We will then undertake our wildlife survey of the site. We will record the vascular plants present with the help of Douglas McKean, Botanical Society of Britiain and Ireland (BSBI) Recorder Emeritus, as well other species present. The data collected on the excursion will help inform the re-assessment of the site as a Local Biodiversity Site. Botanical species of note previously recorded on site include Lesser Marshwort (Apium inundatum), Various-leaved Pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus), Spiked Water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Mare's-tail (Hippuris vulgaris).

Meeting details: Meet at 9:45 am at the entrance to the reserve at the far west end of the site (NT275665). There is limited free parking adjacent to the site along Lang Loan lane (NT276666), on the south side of the bypass. Additional parking is available at the nearby Straiton Retail Park (check parking restrictions) or Straiton Park and Ride is 15 minutes walk away. Lothians bus numbers 37, 47 and 67 serve Straiton Retail Park. Visit Lothian buses for bus timetables and routes.

Requirements: Lunch, outdoor footwear, waterproofs/ sunscreen and sunhat (as weather dictates).

Saturday 1 June – Broomridge, Stirling

Site details: Broomridge is situated in Stirling town in the Broomridge district (vice-county 86 Stirlingshire, site centred on NS801915). The site comprises two wooded river valleys, Tower Burn and Pelstream Burn, plus more open areas of scrub and neutral grassland.

Leader: Natalie Harmsworth. Contact: or mob 07833019493.

Aim: To record the different wildlife species present, including vascular plants. The data collected on the excursion will help inform the assessment of the site as a Local Nature Conservation Site. The last site survey was undertaken by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in 1998 as part of the Local Wildlife Sites designation. Previous noteworthy records from the site and nearby area include the birds, Woodcock and Sand Martin and mammals Otter and Red Squirrel.

Meeting details: Meet at 10:30 am at the Mayfield Centre, Sunnybank Road, St Ninians, Stirling, FK7 0BD where there is car parking (NS798915).

Requirements: Lunch, outdoor footwear and clothing, waterproofs/ sunscreen and sunhat (as weather dictates).

Wednesday 5 June – Braidburn Valley Park, Edinburgh (note that this is an evening outing)

A joint meeting with the Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS) as part of their Urban Flora Project.

Site details: Braidburn Valley Park is located on the south side of Edinburgh in the Greenbank district (vice-county 83 Midlothian, site centred on NT241698). The site is an urban park through which the Braid Burn flows with grassland and some broadleaved plantation. The site was designated as a Local Biodiversity Site (LBS) in 2006.

Leader: Natalie Harmsworth. Contact: or mob 07833019493.

Aim: To update the botanical species list for the site ahead of its re-assessment as a Local Biodiversity Site and to contribute towards the BSS’s Urban Flora Project.

The site was last approved as a Local Biodiversity Site in 2006, so is due for re-assessment using more current data. Notable or protected species previously recorded on site include the locally rare plant Water Figwort (Scrophularia auriculata) and Otter.

Note that although this is principally a botanical outing, recorders of other taxon groups are welcome.

Meeting details: Meet at 5:30 pm at the North gate entrance on Greenbank Crescent (NT24277022). Recommended car parking is along Comiston Road or Pentland Terrace. The area is also well served by public transport. For further details on how to get to the site visit:

Requirements: Suitable outdoor footwear and clothing and waterproofs (weather depending). Money for fish and chips afterwards at Comiston Fry should you wish to join us! We plan to finish by 8:30pm at the latest.


1. For further information please contact the TWIC office (01875 825968) or email

2. Safety on excursions: Anyone attending a TWIC excursion does so at their own risk.

3. Anyone who can assist with transport to excursions, or who requires assistance with transport should contact TWIC who will endeavour to put recorders in contact with one another to arrange matters themselves.

4. The leader reserves the right to change or cancels outings as circumstances dictate.

5. The leader's mobile phone number is for contacting him/her on the day.

6. Records from excursions will be uploaded to the NBN Atlas Scotland.

TWIC is a company limited by guarantee - registered in Scotland No. SC234339. A recognised Scottish Charity SC034113. TWIC acknowledges financial support from Scottish Natural Heritage.