Shian Wood

Shian Wood –

click on image above for a nice report on butterflies search here, as well as images of lots of other places.

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Shian Wood is a fine example of the ancient semi-natural woodlands typical of the Atlantic coast of Scotland.

The wood stands above the surrounding land on a low, flattened ridge of land which juts out from the southern shore of Loch Creran.

Dominated by fine mature oaks festooned in mosses and lichens the canopy in spring covers a carpet of primrose, wood sorrel and bluebell and is home to many species of woodland bird.

The wood also contains many glades and damp flushes where purple moor-grass and devil’s bit-scabious flowers are abundant.

The flowers provide food for marsh fritillaries, scotch argus and speckled wood butterflies.

An area of wet heath at the southern edge of the wood is dominated by bog myrtle and heather and blends into reed bed and muddy salt marsh as it reaches the loch shores.

From the reserve car park, an enjoyable short circular walk takes in much of the reserve.

Best time to visit:

  • Spring for flowers and breeding birds


  • Information
    The reserve is directly adjacent to the parking area. Go through the gate, and follow the track up the hill. Waymarkers indicate the footpaths.
  • Directions
    Shian Wood lies on the south shore of Loch Creran, on a minor road off the A828(T) north of Benderloch. On the north side of Benderloch, leave the A828 and take the minor road sign posted to South Shian. After about 1.5 miles, at a crossroads, turn left for the Island of Eriska. The parking area for the reserve is on the right about 3/4 mile from the crossroads, before you reach Balure Farm.
  • Restrictions
    Cattle graze parts of the the reserve at certain times of year. Please keep dogs on leads.


Species list :

Marsh Fritilliary – web have not been seen for several years, 2 caterpillars recorded May 2010. The visit in early September  to look for webs was unsuccessful. Images on Ardchattan Picasweb albums

Contact details – SWT Convenor –  Rob Chipchase (   01631 562921

SWT local group :
Maurice Wilkins, Chairman, Arduaine, Argyll PA34 4XQ
Tel: 01852 200366 Email:
Diane Elliott, Secretary, 2 Cruachan Buildings, Loch Awe, Dalmally PA33 1AJ
Tel: 01838 200526 Email:
SWT Reserves Manager : Sven Rasmussen

convenors report from SWT site — October 2009
Shian Wood Reserve Report
Reporting on the late spring/summer season, it was quite a wet May with one sunny, dry spell. Late May, June into July brought lovely summer weather. A guided walk held on the 30th May, though sparsely attended, was held on a pleasant summer day. As well as more common species, the wood warblers call was heard and the cuckoo. Butterflies were prolific, including small white, orange tip, speckled wood and painted lady.
Placing Reserve leaflets in Oban Tourist Office seems to have been successful, as some 60+ have been taken over the high season. On the day of the guided walk, four visitors appeared that we were aware of.
After the wettest August locally for 11 years, on September 4th Dr Tom Prescott of Butterfly Conservation Scotland led a search for Marsh Fritillary webs with a small group of volunteers. The day turned out fine and mild, but despite a thorough search of the three main areas where Devils bit Scabious was abundant, as well as areas by the concessionary path, no webs could be found. A small group of highland cattle have continued in the summer months to graze in the lower wood.
Rob Chipchase Tel: 01631 562921

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