Scotland’s coast and islands are amongst the most biodiverse areas in the UK. They provide a last refuge for some of our most beautiful and unusual, but also most vulnerable, species. Many are in decline and some are on the cusp of extinction.
Who we are
Species on the Edge is a new ground-breaking partnership programme of NatureScot and seven nature conservation charities, all dedicated to improving the fortunes of 37 priority species found along Scotland's coast and islands.
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are delivering a four and a half year programme of work to tackle the impacts of environmental change on wildlife, to benefit both nature and people. The partnership consists of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, The Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, NatureScot, Plantlife, and RSPB Scotland.
Drawing on the knowledge and experience within the partnership, we have identified seven landscape-scale areas around Scotland’s coast and islands where collaboration will provide the greatest benefits. These seven areas are:
- The Solway Coast
- The Inner Hebrides, Argyll, Lochaber
- The Outer Hebrides
- North Scotland Coast
- Orkney Islands
- Shetland Islands
- East Scotland Coast
Action in these areas includes:
- survey and collation of conservation data to provide a better understanding of the issues;
- working with communities to identify priorities and co-produce local plans;
- enhancing habitat quality and availability;
- sowing and growing vital host and food plants for vulnerable species;
- excluding predators from sensitive sites;
- removing invasive non-native species;
- providing advice to landowners and local communities on management for biodiversity;
- providing new volunteering and supporting opportunities for a range of participants;
- creating opportunities for people to develop new skills;
- developing and supporting community and creative culture events.
Learn more about our project areas.
We are working with local communities in some of Scotland’s most remote areas to establish projects that provide a vital lifeline for our most nationally and internationally vulnerable coastal and island wildlife. Working together with local communities we aim to:
- secure and improve the future for coastal and island species in Scotland;
- form a support network between communities, to safeguard vulnerable biodiversity;
- strengthen the partnership approach to conservation work in Scotland; and
- raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity to Scotland.
Infographic - Our priorities for Species on the Edge, identifying project areas, partnership working and species recovery targets.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund confirmed over £4m of funding for the programme in June 2022 (total programme cost of over £6.5m). In addition to the National Lottery players, thanks also go to all eight Species on the Edge partners, the Scottish Government, Esmee Fairbairn, the Dulverton Trust, the John Ellerman Trust, the Banister Trust, SAC Consulting, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature for their funding and support.
Please send all enquiries to: [email protected]
Follow Species on the Edge on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities coming from the programme.