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Parish of Mearns

For the afternoon of 2nd May, 1891, an excursion had been to Upper Pollok, in the Parish of Mearns, a neighbourhood famous as the scene of the exploits of that versatile ‘brither Scot’, Christopher North. At Thornliebank station a small party turned up, and they proceeded to Pollok Castle, where they were kindly received by the proprietor, William Fergusson Pollok, Esq. Conducted to the top of the tower, a magnificent view was obtained, as was to be expected from the commanding situation of the castle. To the north-west, the Campsie Fells and Ben Lomond with snow-clad summits; to the west and south-west, Misty Law and the Argyleshire hills; to the south, the Eaglesham moors, with the long plateau of Ballygeich shutting out further view in that direction; to the east and north- east, Clyde valley enveloped in thick haze. Pollok Castle itself for the most part new, its predecessor, which was built in the seventeenth century, having been almost totally destroyed by fire in 1882. Largely owing, no doubt, to their exposed situation, the grounds contain no trees remarkable for size, although so long ago as the beginning of last century Crawfurd had declared that it was ‘well planted, and bath good orchards, and large and commodious parks’.

The party proceeded through the grounds to the Glen Reservoir. This dam had some time previous been stocked with the famed Loch Leven trout, and it is interesting to learn that the experiment has resulted somewhat successfully, a number of fair-sized fish having been taken.

Walkmill Glen was visited on the homeward journey. Here on the rocks were large patches of the aerial orange-coloured alga (Chrooleptus aureus, Ktze.) and in the burn were long waving masses of Cladophera gracilis, Ktze. The glen offers also many features of interest to the geologist, among others a fine section of the Cowglen series of limestones. From the shale overlying the limestone numerous fossil shells in excellent preservation were got.

In the course of the afternoon Mr. John Robertson, of Thornliebank, showed two curiosities which excited some interest. One was a robin’s nest with three fledglings in an old rusty milk-can, and the other a hedgehog in its simple nest.