For the purposes of surveying the reserve is divided into 9 compartments based on physical features/habitat type. I can never remember which number relates to which compartment, so I've given them nicknames for when I'm taking notes!

(with thanks to SWT for permission to reproduce the map here)

1A  “Big Pond” 5 “Orchid Meadow”
1B  “Small Pond” 6 “Woodland”
2 “Pond Surrounds” 7A   “Southern Reservoir Bed”
3 “Road and Filter Beds” 7B  “Dour Burn”
4A   Unimproved Grassland Banking 8 “Paddock and Eastern Leg”
4B  “Dam and Pathway” 9 “Extreme Eastern Leg”

Compartment 1A/1B
1A comprises a hallow loch (generally < 2m) in the north-western section of the reserve. From satellite pictures you can see the old road running through its middle. Dabbling ducks feed even near the centre. 1B is the small pond to the south-west of the loch, with uniform depth of 1.25m. The "sacrificial" pond where some illegal fishing seems to be tolerated.

Look out for:

Shoreweed, Blue water-speedwell, Toad rush, Marsh pennywort,
Celery-leaved buttercup, Creeping buttercup, Lesser spearwort, Marsh yellow-cress,
Water-pepper, Redshank, Water forget-me-not, Water mint, Brooklime,
Common spike-rush, Branched bur-reed, Water-plantain,Soft-rush, Great willowherb,
Reed canary-grass, Bulrush. Noteworthy in the small pond is Canadian pondweed.

Ducks, Coot, Moorhen, Kingfisher, migrant waders when the water's low

Compartment 2
Scrub, woodland and wetland communities surrounding the loch and the pond. Vegetation includes mixed broadleaved woodland to the east, willow carr and tall swamp bounding the northern and western edges of the loch and pond and a strip of Birch and Willow along the southern boundary of the loch. The south-western boundary is formed by more recent scrub and swamp that surrounds the loch.

Look out for:
Salix spp. especially

birds: Moorhens, Water Rail, Warblers in summer

Compartment 3
Mainly man-made compartment in the southern section of the reserve, consisting of the access road from the B9517, the parking area, the filterbeds and the foundation of the old pumphouse. The roadside hosts an interesting variety of trees and road bordering plants while the filter beds provide rich habitat for plants and animals alike.

Look out for:
plants:  Sycamore, Horse Chestnut, Aspen by the roadside, Branched Bur-reed and Water Mint in the filter beds. Also the abundant and tall Reed Canary Grass

birds: Check the filter beds and Dour Burn for Dippers, which will depart sharpish on noticing you! Migrant passerines can sometimes be found here - Whinchat, Stonechat, Spotted Flycatcher.

Compartment 4A
Across the bridge on the East side of the Dour Burn. Unimproved neutral and acid grassland on the banks of the old dam.Lots of bracken and gorse and hard to penetrate beyond cleared path area.

Look out for:
plants: Elders covered in lichen and moss
birds: In September keep an eye open for Spotted Flycatchers.

Compartment 4B
An irregular-shaped compartment which comprises unimproved neutral and acid grassland and fen stretching from the old dam in the southern section of the reserve past the orchid meadow to the Scot's pine plantation south of the loch.

Look out for:
Varied grasses and Wildflowers.Orchids in spring and early summer.

Flocks of tits skipping along the pathside. Goldfinches on mature thistle heads

also: Varied butterflies in season, which almost all can be seen in this area

Compartment 5
The so-called orchid meadow, bounded on the west by a stone dyke which separates it from the B9157 and compartment 4B on the east.

Look out for:

Tufted Hair Grass, Meadowsweet, Marsh Thistle.

Compartment 6
Largely 19th century mixed beech and Scot's pine plantation woodland. The present compartment includes the old car park and access road, which was dug up and planted with trees.

Look out for:
plants: Pine, Beech and Bramble, Goat Willow and a couple of quite large Ivys.
birds: Goldcrest and Coal Tit. Best place to look for Treecreepers. Also Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Compartment 7A
The bed of the former southern reservoir which supports a mixture of successional vegetation types, principally willow scrub with open patches - the so-called ‘mossy barrens’ - where vegetation growth is inhibited by toxins in the soil and dominated by brown mosses. The latter are, however, being slowly encroached by scrub.

Look out for:

Garden and Willow Warblers in summer, and Grasshopper Warblers in May at least. Used to hold Snipe and Jack Snipe in winter but Willow succession may have put an end to that.

Compartment 7B
A long linear strip of swampy vegetation bounding the Dour Burn, which forms the eastern boundary of the reserve.

Look out for:
plants: Hawthorn

birds: Sedge Warblers in summer.

Compartment 8 An area of unimproved neutral and acid grassland and fen on the north-eastern boundary of the reserve. It is bounded by a stone-lined ditch and hedge along its northern boundary.

Look out for:

plants: Hawthorn

birds: Whitethroats in hedge areas in summer, Fieldfares and Redwings in winter

Compartment 9
A narrow, unsurveyed section adjacent to the eastern boundary of compartment 8 and stretching all the way to the A909.

Look out for:


birds: Skylarks and Lapwings in adjacent fields in summer, Buntings in the hedge in winter

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