Doune Ponds

Doune Ponds Nature reserve is managed by Doune Community Woodland Group (DCWG) under an agreement with Moray Estates (the land owners) and Kilmadock Community Council (KCC).  They can be contacted via The Information and Heritage Centre, 61-63 Balkerach Street, Doune, FK16 6DF
Tel 01786 841250, or email

Donations to:

Doune Community Woodland Group

Sort Code 83 18 09,   Acc 00210770

Doune Ponds Logo
Moray Estates Logo
Kilmadock Community Council

Since the group took over in 2014, the unloved ponds (originally gravel pits) have been transformed. The efforts of all the volunteers have been recognised a number of times and the ponds are now a wonderful asset for the whole community.

The Ponds car park is off Station Wynd, with direct access for all, including those with mobility issues.  Further parking is available at the new Stirling Council car park on the A84, just inside the 30 mph limit, with steps at the back of the car park up the Ponds.

The area consists of 40 acres of woodland and water, including an all abilities path network providing easy walking access where you can see lots of wildlife, including a range of water birds, fish, frogs, insects and if you are lucky, a red squirrel. The site also has some rare fungi (see Liz Holden’s recent Fungal Survey of Doune Ponds – Nov 2020) and wild flowers including wild orchids. Our aim is to improve the visitor experience without spoiling the natural woodland effect.



In 2017, Doune Ponds were the winners of Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards in the Small Community Woodland category.

In 2019, Doune Ponds was shortlisted for RSPB Nature of Scotland Award and came Highly Commended in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.

In 2023 Doune Ponds were again winners in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards in the Small Community Woodland category.

Full details of our achievements and future plans can be found in the Management Plan 2014 – 2024

Our current agreement to manage the Ponds between Moray Estates and the Community Council runs out in October 2024 but a new management agreement will be put in place.

Our Volunteers

The majority of work at the Ponds is carried out by a group of dedicated volunteers, who commit time and energy to making Doune Ponds what it is today. The group meets every Wednesday morning to carry out all manner of maintenance tasks as well as major projects.  We also run community weekend volunteering sessions for anyone who would like to attend.  Details are published on the Doune Ponds Facebook page

Some of the larger projects have included:

  • A new bridge at the west edge of the site.
  • Constructing 84 steps up to Lundie Road towards the Commonty Walk.
  • Demolition of the old jetty and building a new and improved viewing platform.
  • A new boardwalk in the dipping pond.
  • Re-building and fixing parts of Commonty Walk path.
  • Creation of a new coppice area known as Kate’s Corner.
  • A set of steps from the new car park on the site of the old Green Shed on the A84 up to the Ponds.


Volunteers building new bridge

Different areas of the ponds

The Central Pond is where you will find our main picnic area, the main hide and a walkway, completed in 2020 out over the pond, where most visitors head to get lovely views and feed the ducks! Whilst most ducks are Mallards, we do also get mandarin, tufted and teal ducks and there are two resident Khaki Campbells.  We would ask visitors, please do not feed the ducks bread.  There are lots of healthy alternatives – swan and duck food is available to buy at the local Information Centre, but porridge oats are a good alternative.

Although rare, an Osprey has been seen taking fish out of this pond and occasionally a cormorant can be seen sunning itself on one of the floating duck houses.

The area around the North Pond has been left quite rugged for those who want a more challenging walk. Look out for the water lillies around August/September time.

There is a small pond at the western edge of the reserve, known as the West Hide Pond. This is where you will often see our resident heron hiding in the reeds, and it’s the most likely place to see moorhens and coots.  Our swans also use this area to build their nest and in 2023, two cygnets were successfully raised.

The water quality in the ponds is tested regularly and shows that we are fortunate not to have excessive levels of nutrients. Barley straw bales are used to inhibit the growth of algae and in 2023 a trial planting of hornwort was undertaken.

The Meadow area is where you will find a beautifully crafted fox bench and in the summer months it is filled with wild flowers (including wild orchids) and butterflies.  Talking Tails also use this area to run dog training classes.

The Coppice area, also known as ‘Kate’s Corner’, has undertaken quite a change over the past few years. Coppicing involves periodically cutting trees down to a stump which encourages new shoots. Combined with new tree planting and clearing the undergrowth this creates a more diverse habitat. Kate Jessup was a volunteer with Stirling Conservation Volunteers and spent many years working at Doune Ponds. Sadly she died suddenly and as a memorial to her dedication to conservation, her friends and colleagues created Kate’s Corner.

In 2020 with the help of Froglife, including a grant obtained by them, an existing small pond was extensively changed to create the new Dipping Pond. This has proved very popular with youngsters over the summer and lots of children have been visiting the dipping pond armed with fishing nets and trays in search of newts, blood worms, backswimmers, pond snails and more! It is planned to build a new education shelter at the dipping ponds in 2024 to provide a sheltered space for groups to learn about the aquatic life in the pond.

Another project already underway the creation of a new wildflower meadow adjacent to the Central Pond to encourage more butterflies and other insects to the area. This in turn should provide an improved habitat for birds and increase biodiversity in the Ponds.

To ensure that our wildlife and woodlands are protected, no fishing or fires (including BBQs) are permitted at Doune Ponds.


To encourage community engagement and raise much needed funds for the maintenance of the Ponds, DCWG organises various events during the year.

There is an annual Easter Egg Hunt, held on Easter Sunday, which has proved very popular. This event is always very well attended by families and we always give out lots of chocolate eggs!

On the Sunday following Doune Gala Day, the Harveys Fun Run is another event that makes use of our new path network as runners follow part of the route through the ponds.

A Family Fun Day is also held in August/September time. There are lots of fun activites including welly whanging, coconut shy, storytelling, willow weaving, bug identification, dog agility and much more.

In December a Fairy Trail is set up adjacent to the path to the West of the Central Pond. The number of little houses has grown over the years and with fairy lights dangling from the trees it’s a magical scene for children to explore.

All of our events are free entry, however people can make a donation if they wish and these funds will go towards the upkeep of the ponds.

There are also orienteering courses set out in the Ponds and Forth Valley Orienteers organise events each year.

Wildlife Gallery

There is a wide range of wildlife at Doune Ponds, it’s not just all about the ducks! See our wildlife gallery below.