Visit Seven Lochs Wetland Park where ancient lochs, woodland walks, a wealth of wildlife and over 10,000 years of history are waiting to be discovered.
The parks' lochs are kettle ponds, formed when the glaciers of the last ice age receded, leaving depressions in the ground which filled with water. The freshwater of the inland lochs have, over the last 10,000 years, supported and sustained a vast array of wildlife as well as human habitation.
Today, the lochs and wetlands are host to a variety of wetland birds. Each winter, majestic whooper swans make a 1000km journey from Iceland to the parks waters, grey heron hunt at the loch margins, while in spring great crested grebe perform their elaborate courtship dance. The lochs offer easy viewing of these, and many other birds and Hogganfield Loch is classed as Glasgow's most important site for wetland wildlife.
Explore the woodlands of the park to discover the bustling birdlife - brightly coloured bullfinch and goldfinch, buzzards soaring over the trees, secretive kingfishers, or the ghost-like shape of a barn owl hunting at dusk. You can also catch a glimpse of roe deer., especially at Bishop Loch. There is also an abundance of insect -life including insect-eating sundew plants, fast flying dragonflies, bees and butterflies including green hairstreak and the small pearl-bordered fritillary - two rare butterflies that can be found at Cardowan Moss.
The inland waters of the park has attracted and supported human subsistence and habitation for over 10,000 years. Visit Bishop Loch to explore the medieval waterscape where Bishops of Glasgow Cathedral once had their country manor and where you can still see the splendid imposing Victorian Gartloch Hospital (now residential apartments). Nearby Provan Hall offers a glimpse into medieval living and you can also explore the important industrial waterway of the Monklands Canal. Find out more about the history and archaeology of the park with our new project Seven Lochs: A History Shaped by Water.
With almost 50km of paths within the park, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Seven Lochs by foot of bike. The parks at our visitor centers offer a range of short, easy nature walks - perfect for people of all ages and abilities - as well as longer walks and bike rides for people looking to explore a bit further.
Seven Lochs Trail
The Seven Lochs Trail is a great way to explore the Park. This 10km signposted trail links Drumpellier Country Park on the edge of Coatbridge to Hogganfield Park in Glasgow. The trail uses well surfaced paths as well as short stretches along quiet roads and is suitable for walking and cycling. The trail takes in lochside paths and woodland walks through local nature reserves and past historic sites. You can download the trail here.
Bishop Loch Trails and Activities
Three Medal Routes have been developed to help visitors explore the wonderful woodland around Bishop Loch or explore in a new way with our Bishop Loch Creative Exploration Pack which has lots of creative ideas and innovative activities that will help you make the most of your travels.
There are lots of great paces to stop and visit in the park. Here are some to get you started!
Provan Hall is one of the oldest houses in Glasgow and it is thought to date from the late 15th Century. The house and its surrounding lands formed the Prebend of Barlanark and were once in the possession of Glasgow Cathedral.
Please note: The house is being refurbished and is currently closed. It will re-open in 2022. In the meantime you can find out more about the history and future plans by following The Friends of Provan Hall on Facebook
The Monklands canal, which drew water for all seven lochs within the park, was fundamental to the industrial success of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire during the late 18th century/early 19th centuries. A significant well preserved length of the canal survives in the park and makes for a pleasant stroll. You can also visit the nearby Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life where the Gartsherrie Branch of the canal can still survives in excellent condition.
The fantastic Crannog play area at Lochend Loch is a place where kids of all ages can let their imagination run wild. Themed as an Iron Age dwelling, and populated with carved animals, kids can climb, slide and swing through time.
At over 16 sq km, the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is Scotland's largest urban heritage and nature park. The vision for the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is of a new park of national significance, sustaining and enhancing a high quality, innovative wetland environment that will:
Read the Seven Lochs Wetland Park vision and masterplan here.
A 5 year, £6.8million work programme is now underway, supported by a grant of £4.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with funding from Seven Lochs Partnership members and range of other funders. The park is still a 'work in progress', and over the next 4 years we will restore and enhance heritage and nature, develop new visitor facilities, create new paths and cycle routes, and offer a range of heritage learning and engagement opportunities for people of all ages.
The Seven Lochs Partnership was established in April 2016 to;
Partnership members are: