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 partnership of NatureScot and seven nature conservation charities, all dedicated to improving the fortunes of 40 priority species found along Scotland's coast and islands.
We will work 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.
The programme received £267k development funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in March 2020. Slightly delayed by the impacts of covid-19, we are now developing a four-and-a-half-year programme of work to tackle the impacts of environmental change on wildlife, to benefit both nature and people.
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. Action in these areas will include:
- 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.
The map below shows seven landscape areas which host the rarest and most threatened species found along Scotland's edge.
- The Solway Coast
- The Inner Hebrides, Argyll, Lochaber
- The Outer Hebrides
- North Scotland Coast
- Orkney Islands
- Shetland Islands
- East Scotland Coast