Rampant Scotland Directory!

Ecology / Environment / Wildlife

Sites concerned with the environment and ecological research are located here. Further down the page is the Scottish Wildlife section. There is a also separate section on Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry.

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Ecology/ Environment

    Scottish Natural Heritage

    SNH promotes the care and improvement of Scotland's natural heritage, its responsible enjoyment, its greater understanding and appreciation and its sustainable use, now and for future generations.

    The Scottish Natural Heritage Information Service - SNHi - has sections which help you to find out about species and habitats around Scotland, sites designated for their natural heritage value across Scotland, what's happening to Scotland's environment, facts and statistics about SNH's work, data on Scotland's countryside and all about the National Nature Reserves (NNR). THere's also information for teachers on sites suitable for outdoor learning.

    Findhorn Foundation

    The Trust runs an educational centre and a wide variety of courses in such fields as personal and spiritual growth, gardening, meditation, leadership, community living, and the arts. The Ecological Village Project promotes the use of renewable energy such as Wind Power and Solar Energy.

    Mossburn Animal Centre

    Mossburn animal sanctuary is based in SW Scotland in Dumfries & Galloway near the town of Lockerbie. It is home to a wide variety of animals including cattle, horses, ponies, pigs, goats, poultry, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, raccoons, reptiles and wildlife ... and more ... They rescue misused, abused, unwanted and neglected animals and provide work placements for children and adults with problems who find working among animals very therapeutic. Visitors are made very welcome at Mossburn (though they had to close during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001). The attractive site has lots of illustrations of the creatures which have been rescued or are permanent residents.

    Pet-Tacular Rescue and Advice Service

    Pet-Tacular is a non-profit making organisation run with the help of volunteers which take in and re-home almost all unwanted small pets, particularly rabbits, rodents and caged birds. There are no facilities for dogs or cats, but they can help people find new homes for these pets. There is also a small pet boarding service for amost all pets except cats and dogs. The organisation also offers advice to all pet owners.

    Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

    The Agency works towards sustainable development in Scotland and their Web pages set out their objectives, how to contact them and makes available their recent press releases. Similarly Friends of the Earth Scotland list their events, publications and how to join the organisation.

    Sustainable Scotland

    An interactive site where you can learn about sustainable development and the environment in Scotland on a national and local level. The site is designed to present integrated information about Scottish and local environmental initiatives to inspire people to care for the environment and their surroundings.

    Touch Wood on Skye

    This is wood recycling workshop based in Uig employs a number of people in the manufacture of small pieces of furniture using discarded pallets to create bespoke pieces of furniture. Their aim is to employ a significant number of people who may have disabilities or health problems, or who are long term unemployed. As the workforce and production has increased, so has consumption of pallets, helping to maintain a cleaner future for the area.

    Roslin Institute

    The Roslin Institute and the company which they have created leapt to world-wide prominence when they issued their press release on the cloning of sheep for the first time.

    University of Dundee Botanic Garden

    The Garden is a centre for public enjoyment in addition to its principal function of supplying plant material for teaching and research within the University of Dundee. It has a wide range of plants, with fine collections of conifers and broad-leaved trees and shrubs, tropical and temperate glasshouses, water garden and herb garden. Located in 9.5 hectares of south facing, gently sloping land near the banks of the River Tay.

    St Andrews Botanic Garden

    About 8000 species of ferns, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees are grown here. Some are native to Scotland but most grow wild in other regions of the world. All those outdoors are hardy and can be cultivated successfully in the climate around St Andrews. The site gives information on the local climate and a history of the garden.

    LIFE Peatlands Project

    This attractively designed site describes the project aimed at restoring and enhancing an area of peatlands in Caithness and Sutherland - and why it is important. It is being promoted by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in partnership with Forest Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Forestry Commission and Plantlife Scotland.


    "Man with two dogs" isn't a website just for dog owners and dog walkers but is a countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier & Advertiser newspaper. Itís not just about the east coast of Scotland but also about other parts of the country. The site covers articles back to 2003 - and that's a lot of ground to cover, with or without two dogs.

    Heather Society

    The Heather Society covers every aspect of heathers from the wild heathers of European heaths and moorlands to the rare splendours of South African heaths. It is the International Registration Authority for Andromeda, Calluna, Daboecia and Erica. You can even design your new heather garden on line. There is also a North American Heather Society.

    Handy Guide to Heathers has descriptions of more than 1000 cultivars including several hundred photographs. Many of the descriptions use the official Heather Society Colour Chart to describe flower colours. There is a Java interface to that allows you to search for cultivars depending on their flower or foliage colour, height, spread, flowering time etc. There are details of sources of supply worldwide. The pictures are taken from the Heather Society's slide library. There is also a printed version available for purchase.

    Garden Blethers

    Described as a 'serious' look at the non-serious aspects of all things gardening, the Garden Blethers website is based on a book written by Patrick Vickery. The articles are written in a conversational style and are informative as well as humorous.

    Brin Herb Nursery

    The Brin Herb Nursery is in Flichity, Strath-nairn, Inverness-shire. They stock a large range of herbs and native plants and have a shop and small cafe, display gardens plus a range of unique Spoff - Highland Muesli.

    Clear Cut Urban Forestry

    Aberdeen-based tree surgeons who also provide photometric analysis and subsidence risk assessment.

    Essential British Gardens

    Essential British Gardens is a digest of some of the finest gardens and arboretums throughout Britain and is based on the author's experiences and those of other keen gardening friends. The North of Scotland and South of Scotland sections have links to a wealth of Scottish gardens, including:

    Water of Leith Conservation Trust

    The Water of Leith is a river which flows thirty five kilometres from its source in the Pentland Hills through the villages of Balerno, Currie, Juniper Green and Colinton into the heart of Edinburgh at Wester Coates, Dean, Stockbridge and Warriston and on to its mouth with the Firth of Forth in Leith. The site covers local history, wildlife and walks. There is a useful map with "pop-up" information.

    Cove Conservation Park

    An innovative visitor centre, the Park covers 50 acres and is home to over 600 animals and birds, and features over 120 different species of plant life, rare breed animals, wildlife habbitats, solar power and wind power demonstrations.

    Gardening Scotland

    Details of the Gardening Show in 100,000 square feet of covered exhibition space at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston, Edinburgh in early June. In addition to horticulture, the show features exhibitions of floral art, crafts, garden accessories and Scottish cuisine.

    Harry Hood Dry Stone Paving and Walling

    Harry creates dry stone paving and dry stone walling, landscaping, granite sett paving design and natural stonework without cement. Using a range of materials, he can produce streetscaping or landscaping with a difference, including celtic knotwork patterns using granite setts. He has experience of working with many different types of stone in many different locations, including Caithness slate for paving and for a drystane dyke in the Beechgrove Garden, Yorkstone paving in Sheffield and on Ben Alder Lodge Estate etc.

    Ardkinglas Estate - Argyll

    Located on the A83 between Arrochar and Inveraray, Ardkinglas is a commercial woodland which has areas of arboretum as part of the Conifer Conservation Programme of the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. There are hill walks and woodland trails.

    Isle of Skye Flora

    This site is introduced as a list of flowering plants and ferns recorded as growing wild on the Isle of Skye but it is much more than that as there are lovely photographs (often more than one) of more than 75% of the nearly 700 plants covered plus detailed descriptions. And the Nature Notes from Skye is a lavishly illustrated naturalist's diary of this lovely island.

    John Muir Trust

    The Trust is involved in conservation of wild places and education and is involved in a number of properties in Scotland including:

    Glasgow Natural History Society

    The Society exists to encourage the study of natural history, principally in the West of Scotland. The site has information about the society and general information about the programme of events and meetings held throughout the year in Glasgow and district.

    Central Scotland Countryside Trust

    CSCT is transforming the landscape in a huge swathe of Scotland's central belt between Edinburgh and Glasgow by creating the Central Scotland Forest between Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Pentland Hills and the Campsie Fells through the planting of millions of trees.

    Wild Mushrooms in Scotland

    Part of a large site covering mushrooms found in all parts of the UK, you can find out about the different types to be found (and whether edible or not) and meet up with other enthusiasts.

    Highland Connexion

    Highland Connexion (their spelling!) is well worth a visit. It covers a wide range of subjects including Highland Environment and the Highland ECO Centre at Ullapool.

    Vegan Family House

    Vegan philosophies, ideas and the alternative choices from the North East of Scotland for anyone who wants to learn about veganism and related subjects plus links for people who are already vegetarians.


    Supplier of power-saving GlareBuster sky-friendly floodlight fittings which provide safe, effective lighting of homes and small businesses without glare. They can also save you money as they use less energy than conventional halogen floodlights - and help you reduce pollution and unpleasant sky glow at the same time.

    Centre for Inclusive Living in Glasgow

    The Centre for Independent Living in Glasgow provides services to promote Independent Living for disabled people. The Centre is run by disabled people and these pages describe the services provided, news and discussion. A wide range of disabilities is covered.


    Scottish Wildlife Trust

    Scottish Wildlife Trust is a conservation organisation which manages over 120 wildlife reserves, covering some 22,500 hectares of Scotland's finest landscapes. Top sites are listed and described in the 'See wildlife' section, including major visitor centres at Falls of Clyde (New Lanark), Jupiter (Grangemouth), Loch of the Lowes (Dunkeld) and Montrose Basin.

    Highland Wildlife Park

    Lying in the Spey Valley between the Cairngorms and the Monadhliath Mountains, the Highland Wildlife Park was opened in 1972 and presents the amazing variety of animals found in present day Scotland, and then those that roamed hundreds, even thousands of years ago. It is now part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

    Highland Wildlife

    Illustrations of some of Scotland's indigenous wildlife.

    International Otter Survival Fund

    The International Otter Survival Fund is based at Broadford, Isle of Skye where there is a visitor centre. The organisation covers worldwide activities to protect all varieties of otter. The site has news and success stories and the Otter Survey of Barra.


    Based in the historic village of Cromarty, in the heart of the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation, EcoVentures offers you an exhilarating boat trip experience aboard high speed, offshore RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to see the unique scenery and wildlife in the Cromarty and Moray Firths. The area is well known for its colony of Bottlenose Dolphins but there are also harbour porpoises, common and gray seals, minke whales and a wide range of seabirds and wildfowl.

    Wildlife Wildshots Photographic Holidays

    In addition to providing a photographic holidays in Glenfeshie in the Scottish Highlands this site has a great Photo Gallery of some of the animals seen on these trips in the Cairngorms.

    The Scottish Association for Marine Science

    The Association is based at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory Oban, Argyll, where there is a world class research laboratory, employing over 110 scientists and support staff, who play a major role in many national and international scientific research programmes. The research covers a broad spectrum of issues from deep sea fisheries to biogeochemistry and climate change and ranges geographically from the South Pacific to Antarctica, from the shores of Loch Etive to the deep waters of the abyssal plains off the west of Scotland.

    Aigas Wildlife

    Part of the site for the Aigas Field Centre this site gives an overview of the varied habitats found there, plus resident badgers and pine martens, the capercaillie breeding programme and the myriad of local nesting raptors.

    Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

    The page on Scotland is part of a larger site covering the history and work of society.

    RSPB Nature Reserve, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire

    Situated within the Clyde-Muirshiel Regional Park, Lochwinnoch is one of the few remaining wetland sites in west Scotland. The visitor centre, with its viewing tower and telescopes, gives good views over the marshland and loch, where in the winter you may see a wide variety of wildfowl and goosanders.

    Scottish Seabird Centre

    Based at North Berwick, opposite the Bass Rock with its 150,000 birds crammed onto it, the Seabird Centre is a major tourist attraction with remote cameras to allow you to view the birds. The site has information about the centre and the 360 degree panoramic cameras on the site have views of North Berwick

    Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC)

    Brings together amateur birdwatchers, keen birders and research ornithologists with the aims of documenting, studying and enjoying Scotland's varied birdlife. Based on information provided by members, local recorders produce reports on numbers of birds and on sightings of rarities and visitors and produce an annual Scottish Bird Report. The site has an official "Scottish List" of birds that have been reliably recorded in Scotland, illustrations of recent sightings of rarer species and advice on where to birdwatch.

    Sites covering birds and bird-watching in specific areas of Scotland include:

    Angus Birding Grapevine aims to provide the "Electronic Birding Community" with information of what birds are currently about, primarily in the area of Angus but also the East Side of Scotland. If there is something of interest fairly nearby, then that will get put on too!

    Auchterarder Ornithology provides a narrative description of what can be seen in that area.

    Birding in Ayrshire provides information to all with an interest in the wild birds of Ayrshire and in birding in this area, whether resident or visitor. The site is sponsored by the Scottish Ornithologists' Club Ayrshire. It includes news of their activities and of other relevant organisations such as RSPB Central Ayrshire Local Group and RSPB North Ayrshire Local Group as well as being a forum for all birders in the area. There is a species list of the birds of Ayrshire, giving an indication of their current status in the county and a comprehensive list of the best places to watch birds in Ayrshire.

    Birding in Strathclyde has a comprehensive coverage of the best locations for seeing birds in the area.

    RSPB Edinburgh Area Local Group is a large and active group covering the Edinburgh and Lothians area. They have a monthly programme of indoor meetings running from September to April. There are monthly local outings to various birding spots in the district, plus a few longer distance outings per year.

    Forth Valley RSPB Local Group covers a wide area including Dunblane, Falkirk, Linlithgow and Stirling in Central Scotland. The Group organises a full and varied programme of meetings to cater for a wide variety of interests in matters ornithological as well as wildlife conservation in general.

    Argyll Bird Club runs field trips, provides latest bird reports and has extensive advice on bird watching in Argyll and a photo gallery.

    Skye Birds - A Birding Guide to the Island of Skye is dedicated to the birds which find a niche in the in the wild and sometimes harsh environment which makes the Island of Skye so unique. The website highlights the wide variety of birds which can be seen and where to see them.

    Lothian Bird News is an e mail subscription list which informs people interested in birds sightings, events to attend and other bird related news in and around the Lothians and south east Scotland.

    Bird Watching in South-West Scotland focuses on the Caerlaverock Wetlands Centre, a 1400-acre site and centre with all year round facilities for viewing many species of wild birds, duck, and wading birds. During October vast flocks of up to 20,000 Barnacle Geese arrive from the Arctic, together with Whooper Swans from Iceland and many other winter visitors.

    Hebrides Bird Sightings is an informal birding page for sharing recent bird sightings and other local birding pursuits in the area. There is a downloadable version of the Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist, which details the 372 bird species reliably recorded in the area.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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