Dunkeld-Blairgowrie Lochs IPA

Location: Perthshire, to the west and south of the A923 , running through Blairgowrie.

Grid Reference: NO 140 445

Dunkeld-Blairgowrie Lochs IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • One of the UK’s most important populations of Slender Naiad
  • The species richness of vascular plants on Surface standing waters, littoral zone of inland surface water bodies, valley mires, poor fens and transition mires, sedge and reedbeds and broadleaved deciduous woodland
  • One of the best UK examples of threatened habitats of:
    Nutrient poor lakes with sparse vegetation;
    Nutrient rich lakes with abundant vegetation
  • This chain of five beautiful wooded lochs lie along the Lunan Burn on the northern edge of the central Scottish lowlands between Dunkeld and Blairgowrie.

    The Lochs of Butterstone, Craiglush and Lowes are about 5 km upstream of Lochs Clunie and Marlee. Naturally shallow, they and their margins are home to an exceptionally diverse aquatic flora, with the number of pondweeds at Loch of the Lowes and Loch Clunie being outstanding. Slender naiad occurs in each of the lochs. The site also contains a very large number of plant species, including many of local or national rarity.

    The lochs are fringed by areas of fen, reedbeds and semi-natural woodland. In May the woodland floor is covered in bluebells, and along the lochside paths grow monkeyflowers, early purple orchids, ragged robin, butterworts, cuckoo flowers, mint and thyme.

    In the water, flowering plants include bogbean, shore-weed, alternate flowered water milfoil, stoneworts, small pondweed, Canadian pondweed (an alien species) and both white and yellow waterlilies.