Shewalton Sandpits

Fashioned out of disused sand and gravel pits in the 1980s, the sand banks, ponds, woodland and riverbank are now a haven for invertebrates, plants and birds. The sheltered conditions mean that butterflies and dragonflies can be numerous on a sunny day.

Bladderwort, a carnivorous aquatic plant indicates the water in the ponds is very clean. Quiet, grassy paths lead around the ponds to the riverbank.

Shewalton Sandpits is one of the Irvine Greenspaces.

Common lizard © T Norman Tait

Why visit?

  • Butterflies
  • Wildflowers

Best time to visit?

  • Summer for insects

Visit for:

  • Butterflies
  • Pond
  • Wildflowers


The reserve is located on either side of the A737, approximately 1.25 miles south of Irvine town centre. The car park is 150m along Shewalton Road. To reach it, take the second left after the 30mph speed limit sign leaving Irvine towards Ayr.

Getting onto the reserve

The entrance next to the car park takes you into a network of grass paths and to the bank of the River Irvine. The other entrance is across the main road opposite the Shewalton Road junction. The path there is unsurfaced and will take you round Trocol Pond.

One of the nine Irvine Greenspace reserves. These are within easy walking/cycling distance of where people live, giving them access to high quality green space close to home. The eight other Greenspaces are:


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