The Endrick Mouth area is a nature-rich wetland known as Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, and managed jointly by NatureScot, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park and RSPB Loch Lomond. It straddles the Highland Boundary Fault, where two continents collided, over 400 million years ago.
Scottish Dock (Rumex aquaticus)
This unassuming plant grows uniquely in a few marshy places near the south east end of Loch Lomond and along the river Endrick, including at Carbeth Home Farm. Its long, slender leaves set it apart from many other docks and sorrels. It blooms in early summer, its delicate greeny-cream flowers hanging in bunches from the axes of the leaves. By late summer these have turned into tiny, nut-brown seeds.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
It’s only in the last 20 years that we’ve been able to see ospreys in the National Park. Persecution drove them to extinction in the UK during the last century. They started returning to breed in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1950s, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of conservationists. The birds are now spreading out across other parts of the country where fish are plentiful and they can find undisturbed nesting sites. They can regularly be seen fishing in the Endrick Mouth area in the summer.
Otter (Lutra lutra)
Otters can be seen on almost all of the waterways in the National Park, including the Endrick. The best time to spot them is at dawn and dusk, when they hunt for fish, crabs, frogs or small birds.
The Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) status of the Endrick is due to the presence of important populations of brook lamprey, river lamprey and Atlantic salmon. The river lamprey are of particular importance because, unlike other populations which migrate to the sea, they remain in freshwater as adults, feeding on freshwater fish in Loch Lomond. This is the only instance of this unusual behavioural trait recorded in the UK.