Gartcosh local nature reserve is accessed off junction 2A of the M73 then off Auldyards Road. There is an extensive natural plant and wildlife reserve. The site is important for protected species, including the largest great crested newt colony in Scotland.
The area around Johnston Loch also offers a place for relaxation and informal recreation for the residents and visitors alike. There is a cafe, Tea house on the Loch and fly fishing (member permit required). Johnston Loch is part of the 7 Lochs wetland park.
Brief History of Gartcosh
The name 'Gartcosh' is thought to have evolved from the Gaelic word 'Gart 'meaning field and 'Cos' meaning hollow. The village was originally one of agriculture but eventually became known for its role in Scotland's Industrial Revolution.
In the mid 1800's Gartcosh was known for its iron and fireclay works. Most of Gartcosh's land was owned by two strict Presbyterian spinster sisters.
The sisters were not interested in the considerable financial offerings for their property but were more concerned with maintaining the ongoing spirit of Gartcosh. They eventually relented under pressure from Smith & McLeans and sold off some of their land for industrial purposes, but only on the condition that no public house, bookmakers nor Catholic church would ever be built within the Gartcosh boundaries.