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Horse Island

Drake eider flapping wings

Horse Island is a small, low-lying exposed island lying 1 km off the Ayrshire coast opposite Ardrossan. It is owned by Clydeport Properties Ltd., but is managed as a nature reserve by the RSPB, supported by an advisory committee of local experts. The bird colonies on the island are nationally important, in particular the large numbers of eiders, cormorants and lesser black-backed gulls. It is a designated a Statutory Bird Sanctuary. During the nesting season the density of nesting birds on the island makes it impossible for visitors to land without undue disturbance to the birds. The main aims of management are to protect the colonial nesting birds by maintaining the island as a sanctuary, improve the nesting habitat for terns and eiders by creating a mosaic of bare areas and taller vegetation, and monitor the seabirds each year.

Where is Horse Island?

Important note

This site is one of several that due to its size, location and/or conservation sensitivity is not capable of accommodating large numbers of visitors (unless stated).

Where possible, we have indicated the nearest equivalent RSPB nature reserve suitable for visiting. If you require further information, please use the contact details provided.

This does not affect any statutory rights of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act or Land Reform (Scotland) Act legislation.

For more information


Telephone:01505 842663

Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve
Largs Road
PA12 4JF

Nearby reserves