Cullaloe Forest and Cullaloe Reservoir

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright July 2022, Bill Kasman; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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The Reservoir

Often overlooked this small wildlife reserve is worth a visit

Cullaloe Reservoir is a wildlife reserve belonging to The Scottish Wildlife Trust. It was once one of a pair of reservoirs which were the main water supply for the town of Burntisland but these were decommissioned in 1980, one of the reservoirs was drained and the area became the Cullaloe Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest LinkExternal link Today, it isn't really possible to get close to the remaining reservoir due to the boggy nature of its immediate surroundings and the need to avoid disturbing wildlife and rare plants but there is a small car park and a good trail leading to a viewing platform which gives nature watchers a place from which to observe the water birds which frequent the reservoir. There is also a short trail which starts at the far end of what was once the main car park (now guarded by a locked gate), goes uphill a short way and returns downhill, crossing the Dour Burn at two points by wooden bridges, back to the access track to the old car park. This trail gives some reasonable views. It only takes a few minutes to complete the round trip and, if you are stealthy enough, there is always the possibility of meeting some of the many roe deer which inhabit the area.

NT1887 : Entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
Off the B9157 this is the entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir car park. The house is Cullaloe Cottage which is served by the same turning.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The track to the parking area leads straight ahead. The turning to the left is private and leads to Cullaloe Cottage. The barred gate allows maintenance vehicles access to the reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir isn't well signposted. It's only after turning off the B9157 that this sign becomes visible.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
This is now the only parking area for the reservoir. The track beyond the locked gate leads to what was once the main car park. Although there is a sign on the gate giving opening times I have never seen this gate open. Pedestrians can still proceed beyond the gate.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Entrance to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
This message gives the impression that this gate, which guards the track to what was once the main car park, is open during the day but I have never seen it open and indeed the car park it guards doesn't seem to have been used in a long time! NT1887 : Former car park
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Path to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
Off the access road to the parking area the track to the right leads to the reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Track to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The reservoir is only a couple of hundred metres along the track from the car park. The object in centre frame is an information board.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Information board by Bill Kasman
On the track to Cullaloe Reservoir is this information board.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Track to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The reservoir is only a couple of hundred metres from the car park along this excellent track.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Track to Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The track approaches the viewing platform.
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NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir viewing platform by Bill Kasman
This wooden fence is part of the viewing platform. There are observation ports in the fence and an information board to the left. To the right of the fence is a path which leads further on past the reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir viewing platform by Bill Kasman
Not quite a proper 'hide' this wooden fence with observation ports still allows stealthy viewing of the reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Information board by Bill Kasman
This information board is adjacent to the viewing platform at Cullaloe Reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
A view through one of the observation ports on the viewing platform at Cullaloe Reservoir.
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NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The water level is low and there isn't much in the way of wildlife around.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Reservoir intake tower by Bill Kasman
Since Cullaloe Reservoir is no longer used as a public water supply this intake tower, close to the viewing platform, is redundant and overgrown with vegetation.
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NT1887 : Path near Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
This path starts from the viewing platform and proceeds through woods to the reservoir spillway and continues further on to reach an old sluice gate on the Dour Burn.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Footbridge over spillway by Bill Kasman
This concrete footbridge spans the spillway of Cullaloe Reservoir. The reservoir is to the left of the image and the spillway leads downhill to the right to empty into the Dour Burn which runs through what was once the main part of Cullaloe Reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir spillway by Bill Kasman
The spillway runs downhill to meet the Dour Burn which runs through what used to be the main reservoir LinkExternal link
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir spillway by Bill Kasman
The spillway runs downhill to meet the Dour Burn which runs through what used to be the main reservoir LinkExternal link
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Gate into field by Bill Kasman
This gate, near the spillway of Cullaloe Reservoir, leads into a field of long grass. It looks like it hasn't been used for some time.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : The path continues by Bill Kasman
This path starts from near the viewing platform for Cullaloe Reservoir, reaches the spillway and continues on to end at an old sluice gate on the Dour Burn. The grassy field on the left is a bit of a puzzle. There are two gates but neither look as though they have been used for some time and, indeed, there is no vehicle track leading to either gate - not even one a farmer's tractor might be able to negotiate. The grass is long and unkempt and the overall impression of this field is one of being forgotten and neglected.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1987 : Grassy field near Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
This grassy field is a bit of a puzzle. There are two gates but neither look as though they have been used for some time and, indeed, there is no vehicle track leading to either gate - not even one a farmer's tractor might be able to negotiate. The grass is long and unkempt and the overall impression of this field is one of being forgotten and neglected.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1987 : Footbridge over the Dour Burn by Bill Kasman
At the end of the path which starts at the viewing platform for Cullaloe Reservoir is this footbridge. The concrete structure appears to be associated with an old sluice gate on the burn.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1987 : Old sluice gate by Bill Kasman
This rusty device appears to be part of a sluice gate on the Dour Burn near Cullaloe Reservoir. It doesn't look like it's been used for some time.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1987 : Old sluice gate by Bill Kasman
This rusty device appears to be part of a sluice gate on the Dour Burn near Cullaloe Reservoir. It doesn't look like it's been used for some time.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir spillway by Bill Kasman
This 'mini dam' is at the top of the reservoir's spillway NT1887 : Cullaloe Reservoir spillway The reservoir can just be made out beyond the 'dam'.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Footbridge across spillway by Bill Kasman
This concrete footbridge crosses the spillway of Cullaloe Reservoir. Note the holes which allow water to drain away. Without these holes the bridge would act like a dam and the surrounding area would be quite boggy.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Road to former car park by Bill Kasman
This road is guarded by a locked gate (just out of view). It leads to what was once the main car park (behind the camera) for Cullaloe Reservoir. The wooden handrails mark the original path to the reservoir but that is now blocked off in favour of another path NT1887 : Path to Cullaloe Reservoir
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Former car park by Bill Kasman
This used to be the car park for Cullaloe Reservoir but it is no longer in use.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Former car park by Bill Kasman
This used to be the car park for Cullaloe Reservoir but it is no longer in use. There is a path leaving the far end of this section which crosses the Dour Burn by a footbridge, climbs to the left a short way up the hill then loops back to return to the other end of the car park crossing the burn once more by another footbridge.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Dipping platform by Bill Kasman
In the former car park this was a dipping platform for Cullaloe Reservoir. The sign at the bottom right warns of deep water but, in fact, this reservoir is no longer used as a public water supply and this dipping pond has been allowed to become severely overgrown with vegetation to the point where no water can be seen at all. Water is still there, though, because the Dour Burn runs through the reed beds to the right, hence the life ring - just in case!
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Information board by Bill Kasman
In the former car park of Cullaloe Reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Footbridge over Dour Burn by Bill Kasman
At the far end of the former car park for Cullaloe Reservoir there is a path which crosses the Dour Burn by this footbridge, climbs a short way up the hill, then proceeds downhill to another footbridge crossing the Dour Burn again and then back to the car park. It's a short walk taking only a few minutes.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Footbridge over Dour Burn by Bill Kasman
After climbing a short way up the hill the path from the former car park for Cullaloe Reservoir descends to this footbridge over the Dour Burn.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Course of Dour Burn by Bill Kasman
From the footbridge in this image NT1887 : Footbridge over Dour Burn the Dour Burn is severely overgrown with vegetation. It could be heard but barely seen.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Footbridge over Dour Burn by Bill Kasman
The path behind the camera continues to the former car park for Cullaloe Reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Swan and cygnets by Bill Kasman
These mute swans (Cygnus olor) were on Cullaloe Reservoir.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Bench seat and plinth by Bill Kasman
At the top of the old access steps to the Cullaloe Reservoir path NT1887 : Road to former car park is this bench seat and broken stone plinth which, I'm guessing, once held an information board.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Path at Cullaloe Reservoir by Bill Kasman
The faint grassy path just to the right of centre image leads to the bench seat in this image NT1887 : Bench seat and plinth
The trees to the left mark the position of the original dam wall when Cullaloe was a public water supply for the town of Burntisland.
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by Bill Kasman


NT1887 : Dipping platform by Bill Kasman
This is a former dipping platform of Cullaloe Reservoir. It hasn't been used as such for quite some time but it is still a safe and secure structure which would make an excellent photographic platform were it not for the undergrowth which completely spoils any attempt at photographing the reservoir!
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by Bill Kasman



KML

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