Key for Scotland’s declining chough population. Choughs traditionally nest in cave sites, but there aren’t any on these islands that are close to chough feeding areas. To help the survival of choughs, we’re building wooden shelters for them to nest in. These have already been used successfully in other parts of Islay. We’re also working to increase invertebrate populations they feed on
100% for Nature
How we’re working to transform reserves in Scotland.
Islay and Oronsay
One of the largest expanses of saltmarsh in southern Scotland, a key habitat for wading birds. Grazing is important here to ensure the habitat is favourable for species like curlew. We’re upgrading the access to the reserve and cattle management infrastructure to help improve the viability of grazing on the saltmarsh
A network of important coastal habitats for wintering wading birds. The ridge of sand and shingle above the tideline should move naturally each year, and become colonised by plants like marram grass, but woody scrub has started to dominate. Removing scrub and trees from the dunes will help many species including small blue and dingy skipper butterflies
Our Loch Lomond reserve and the surrounding area is a key wintering location for Greenland white-fronted geese. We’ve purchased a low-ground-pressure tractor which will enable us to cut dense vegetation to optimise the foraging habitat for the geese
an important island for wintering wading birds. On drier parts of the reserve, little terns and ringed plovers nest on areas of man-made gravel on former WWII runways. These nesting areas are vegetating over, making them less suitable, and breeding numbers of the two species are declining. We’re shallow-ploughing them to remove areas of vegetation and make it more suitable for nesting.
Home to an extensive area of ancient Atlantic oak woodland, which supports an incredible amount of wildlife. We’re implementing a fencing plan which will help exclude herbivores from key areas to allow new trees to establish. We will also be monitoring the number of herbivores using state of the art technology.
The intertidal habitats at Nigg and Udale Bay
The intertidal habitats at Nigg and Udale Bay are important for wintering waterbirds such as bar-tailed godwits, curlews and wigeon. However, these habitats are threatened by the non-native common cord-grass, which can colonise mudflats and saltmarsh and grows to a greater height than the surrounding vegetation. We’re controlling this grass to restore affected areas, making them more suitable for feeding and roosting wading birds.
A stunning example of wetland habitat restoration. We’re removing scrub from the dunes and using virtual fence technology to introduce grazing to help stop the scrub from returning. We’re also using targeted grazing to improve the saltmarsh habitat which supports the wintering population of Svalbard barnacle geese
One of the most important floodplain wetlands in Europe, home to an array of rare and special plants, insects and birds. The floodplain creates the ideal conditions for developing fen habitat here, but its quality and condition is gradually being reduced by the spread of reeds. We’ve introduced a small herd of Koniks to trial grazing the reed to improve the habitat.
We’re establishing a tree nursery to boost populations of rare montane willow populations in Abernethy. The tree nursery will give us cuttings and seedlings which we can plant on the reserve to support the existing isolated remnant populations. We’re also working with other key landowners to improve conditions for these key plant species in the Cairngorms.
Our Abernethy reserve is a key home for capercaillie and our ongoing work shows a need for specific habitat management, to benefit both adult birds and chicks. We are carrying out larger-scale trials using a remote-controlled robotic mower to cut vegetation and cattle grazing in sections of the forest to test if we can improve the habitat for capercaillie and other pinewood wildlife