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Sandhills Caravan Park - Pettycur
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Site of Special Sientific Interest [SSSI]The David Bellamy Conservation Awards for Caravan Parks

For the 16th year running, Sandhills caravan park has been awarded the Gold standard for its contribution to the environment such as landscaping, site layout, tidiness, condition of grass areas, colour of caravans, recycling policy, tree planting, flowers and the location of many rare plants. Bird boxes and feeding platforms have been constructed including a pond under a small waterfall at the beach side.

The Cliffs below the site and a large area of the sand and sand dunes are owned by Sandhills and are within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is only one of two in the World.

Many rare plants are documented by the Nature Conservation Foundation and grow on the cliffs and lower areas.

Rare insects including the rare Northern Brown Argos Butterfly which is scarce in Scotland and declining in Britain have also been seen in the area.

Jim (the proprietor) takes great pride in the investment of resources at Sandhills and is delighted to have won the Gold Award for the 14th consecutive year.

Pettycur's Bio diversity

Pettycur is probably the best known Visean plant putrefaction site in the World, whose fossils have been studied for over a Century. The assemblage is quite distinctive, with most of the species being known from nowhere else.

Lycopods and Ferns predominate but also present are Equisetales, including the oldest known example of the Sphenophyllales and Pteridosperms. The seeds of the latter have the oldest known true micropyles and provide unique evidence of the transition from the more primitive salpinx-type pollen capture apparatus. Although not as abundant as in earlier years, specimens are still to be found and there remains much research potential. A site of outstanding international Importance.


The Site includes extensive areas of foreshore with sand, rock and shingle. These are used for feeding and roosting by large flocks of wintering waders, which together comprises the largest concentration of waders on the north shore of the Outer Firth of Forth. Nationally important numbers of Knot and regionally important numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher occur in Winter, together with a nationally important population of Goldeneye in Kirkcaldy Bay.

Pettycur Sands Beach cliff faceThe SSSI contains the largest and most diverse areas of coastal grassland and cliffs in West Fife, with more than 200 species of vascular plants present, of which at least 12 are regionally scarce.

Calacreous grassland is abundant, usually associated with rock outcrop and cliffs. Herbs such as Wild Thyme Thymus Praecox, Common Rockrose Helianthemum nummularium and Bloody Cranesbill Geranium sanguineum are typical with rarities such as Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare, Wild Clary Salvia hormioides and Thyme Broomrape Orobanche Alba, a species which is also scarce in Britain.

Maritime grassland is of limited occurrence with abundant Thrift Armeria Maritima and a variety of associates including Distant Sedge Carex Distans and Kidney Vetch Anthyllis Vulneraria. Tall, herb-rich neutral grassland occur extensively and the locally rare Hemp-agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum, whilst mixed scrub is also widespread, with Burnet Rose Rosa pimpinellifolia and much Blackthorn Prunnus spinosa. Small areas of beach-head saltmarsh and dune also occur, with beds of Narrowleaved Eelgrass Zostera angustifolia on the mudflats of Burntisland Bay.

Several species of insects which are scarce in Scotland occur within the site, including the Weevil Miarus Campanulae and the Moth Stigmella Plagiocolella, a rare butterfly in Fife which is scarce and declining in Britain, is also found here, the larvae feeding on Rock-rose.


Sandhills is one of the oldest family owned Caravan Park in Scotland.

In 1901 an Edinburgh business man bought the right to extract sand from the bay. This sand was used for the construction of the Rosyth Dockyards from 1903 onwards, at that time Mr McCulloch Grand Father was in charge of pulling the sand up the hill using wheeled carts powered by a Steam engine to be emptied on trains from an overhanging bridge.

Sandhills in the 1920's

Sandhills first started off as a campsite with tents for the early holiday makers in search of a relaxing location, in the 1930 the site was well developped with tents, wooden chalets, old buses and tramcar bodies.

Sandhills in the 1920's
Sandhills in the 1920's

The site was purchased in 1985 from British Rail and was then cleared and caravans were sited from 1987 onward, constructed solely by Mr James McCulloch and joined by an assistant Mr Sam Duke in 1991.

Download History of Sandhills Caravan Park (pdf 21MB) now.

David Bellamy Conservation Awards 2010

Clean, litter free, beautiful Flowers

Five Stars

A peaceful relaxing environment

Superior to other sites visited

The beautiful coastline, friendly owner, abundance of wild flowers and bird life all add to a wonderful site

Park maintained to a level well above standard.

It's obvious that animals, birds etc. also find Sandhills a perfect environment

Very well maintained

This Caravan Site has to be one of the best sites I have ever seen

Is Nature at its best

A site of outstanding international Importance.

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