is an area rich in wildlife and history.
consists of a strip of coastland about one kilometre in length and 10
hectares in size. It was established in 1985 and is managed by the
Scottish Wildlife Trust through an agreement with the owners, Fife
from the car park
to the Reserve
Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve can be reached by taking the Balcomie
Road out of Crail towards the Balcomie Links Golf Course. After about 2
kilometres turn right onto the signposted track to the Fife Council
Kilminning Picnic Area.
reserve entrance faces the car
that is closest to the sea. There is a public toilet in the car
park/picnic site complex.
reserve can also be reached on
foot along the
Fife Coastal Path which runs through it.
OUT a copy of this Web page
and take it
with you when you visit the reserve.
In summer, listen
out for the stonechat which has a call
pebbles being banged together. Also look out for the white flowers of
the scurvy-grass which, despite its name, is not a grass at all!
Scurvy-grass gets its name from the leaves, which because of their high
vitamin C content, were widely eaten on ships to prevent scurvy.
In winter, after
the plants have finished flowering,
birds can still be seen on the reserve. Out to sea, cormorants and
gannets often fly past. Closer to the shore, you may see the bobbing
form of the male eider duck with its striking black and white plumage.
On the shoreline itself, oystercatchers can frequently be seen feeding.
The first evidence
of man's use of the site comes from
stone burial chambers called cists which have been found opposite the
Kilminning Castle rock. Another burial site, Long Man's Grave, lies at
the northeast end of the reserve. In local folklore, it is said to be
the final resting place of a great Danish warrior.
During the Second
World War the land behind the reserve
used as a Royal Navy Air Station. Remains of some of the defensive
works that protected the airfield can still be seen on and around the
From the Second
World War until recently the site was
grazed. During this time, a small number of tall grass species became
dominant and swamped out many other plants. Since 1993 a small number
of cattle have been used to graze part of the reserve during the summer
months. This grazing will reduce the vigour of the tall grasses and
allow a greater range of other plants to flourish. In 1997 a survey of
the vegetation communities on the reserve was completed. Such surveys
help to determine what effect the grazing is having
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