Great places to spot wildlife in Renfrewshire

Monday 27th June, 2022

Renfrewshire is such a great place for wildlife spotting thanks to its many country parks and nature reserves.

Whether it’s somewhere to feed the ducks, do a bit of bird watching or ramble past fields with Highland cows, we’ve listed some popular wildlife spots in the area.

Each outdoor attraction also provides beautiful scenery and viewpoints. There’s no reason not to visit!

Tick off your wildlife checklist at these locations below.

Castle Semple Country Park – Lochwinnoch

Located beside the impressive Castle Semple Loch in Lochwinnoch, this country park is home to an abundance of wildlife.

You’ll be able to see a range of animals across the different seasons. Spot otters, roe deer, whooper swans and geese, blue tits and great tits. You may also see some fox and badger cubs in the summer months.

Before you visit, make sure to check out the park’s handy wildlife almanac which details what you might be able to see each month.

Plus, make sure to pop into the visitor centre to see its interesting wildlife and local history exhibitions.

Find out more here.


RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve – Lochwinnoch

One of the few wetlands left in the west of Scotland, Lochwinnoch is the perfect place to go birdwatching.

Spring is a particularly special time to see the elaborate displays of the great crested grebes.

In the summer, broods of cygnets and ducklings can be seen on the loch. You’ll also find a wide variety of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies among the colourful displays of wildflower.

Catch sight of large gatherings of swallows, flocks of redwings and fieldfares, tits, goldcrests and treecreepers in the woodland during Autumn.

Then, in the winter months you can find whooper swans, wigeon and a variety of ducks.

Find out more about the reserve and what you can see here.


Gleniffer Braes Country Park – Paisley

Highland cows grazing in Gleniffer Braes Country Park

Paisley’s very own country park sits high above the town and boasts some of the best views in Renfrewshire.

Wildlife found here is typical of woodland and moorland. See skylarks, kestrels and sparrowhawks feeding in the treetops along with goldcrest and chaffinches.

Highland cows are regularly seen in the fields. Shy roe deer can also be spotted stepping from the shadows to graze as dusk falls.

Find out more here.


Jenny’s Well Nature Reserve – Paisley

Jenny's Well Local Nature Reserve

This nature reserve along the White Cart Water is a peaceful haven for wildlife, near Paisley town centre.

Formerly a quarry, the area has been landscaped and has a network of paths. Here, you’ll be able to spot dozens of species of birds, trees and flowers.

With its handy location beside the water, you might even see otters, eels or a kingfisher from the viewing platform overlooking the River Cart.

Find out more about this great location here.


Finlaystone Country Estate – Langbank

Finlaystone Woods

Finlaystone is home to approximately 140 acres of beautiful woodlands, including trees estimated to be well over 400 years old.

There’s no fear of getting lost in the varied landscapes as maps and further information is available from the estate’s visitor centre.

You’ll also find a calendar of ranger-led activities designed to promote the natural environment.

Look out for a host of wildlife, including roe deer, fox, grey squirrel, stoat, and a large colony of herons.

Plus, the neighbouring mud flats on the River Clyde are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is due to their national importance for wintering birds such as redshank, greenshank, oystercatcher, goldeneye and eider.

Regular sightings of birds at the estate include robin, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, blackbird, buzzard, jay, kestrel, sparrow hawk, chaffinch, thrush, swallow, house martin, sparrow and tawny owl.

Find out more about the estate and admissions here.


Paisley Moss Nature Reserve – Paisley

Paisley Moss Nature Reserve

Forming part of Glasgow Airport and bounded by motorway slip roads, Paisley Moss is a hidden oasis for wildlife.

The local nature reserve contains ponds, mossy marshes, reeds and sedge beds supporting hundreds of different animals and plants.


Barshaw Park – Paisley

View of Barshaw Park Sunset

Located not far from Paisley town centre, Barshaw Park has lovely scenery and range of great facilities.

Within the park is a lovely pond, which is used regularly by Paisley Model Yacht club today.

The pond is also popular with visiting swans and dozens can be seen in the water at any one time.

Find out more about the facilities at Barshaw Park here.


Robertson Park – Renfrew

Robertson Park, Renfrew

With a beautiful pond located within the grounds, Robertson Park in Renfrew is a perfect place to go and feed the ducks.

With great grassy areas, playgrounds, a BMX course and skatepark, there’s more than just wildlife to enjoy on a family trip here.

Find out more about Robertson Park here.