Rampant Scotland Directory!

Ecology / Environment / Gardens and Gardening / Animal Rescue / Wildlife

Sites concerned with the environment and ecological research are located here. Further down the page are the Gardens and Gardening and Animal Rescue Centres as well as links to Scottish Wildlife sites, including bird watching. On a separate page there is a also separate, related 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.

    Forestry Commission Scotland

    This is the government agency responsible for protecting and expanding Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment. There is a useful section with guidance on where to go to enjoy Scotland's forests - not just quiet forests but events ranging from arts and music to motor sport!


    This is a leading independent engineering consultancy specialising in worldwide renewable energy projects. They can deliver every phase of a project, from the early stages of site selection, feasibility and design right through to project management of the construction phase and operation and maintenance. Multi-disciplinary consultants have extensive sustainable energy experience worldwide. Clients include utilities, financiers, developers and many other public and private sector organisations.

    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.

    The Advanced Group

    The Advanced Group are Scotlands Energy Efficient Home Improvement company with over 22 years of providing the best (Scottish) weather beating energy efficient Triple Glazing, Conservatories,and uPVC Doors. They also supply Solar PV Systems so you can reduce your carbon footprint, generate the electricity you need and earn a tax free bounty for doing it.

    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.

    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 not 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 either 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.

    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.

    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.

    Royal Scottish Forestry Society

    The Society is a registered charity which seeks to advance forestry in all its branches; influence the government of the day in forest policy; educate the public in the benefits and principles of forestry in all its aspects and encourage liaison between all aspects of forestry and other land uses. The Web site is mainly aimed at its members but has news pages containing articles and stories related to forestry and a photo gallery.

    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.

    Gardens and Gardening

    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:

    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.

    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.

    Gardens Galore Landscape Design

    Family-run and award-winning garden design company based in Perth but offering landscaping and services across Edinburgh, Glasgow and northern England.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

Animal Rescue Centres

    Argyll Animal Aid

    Formed over 20 years ago when a small group of animal lovers decided to do something about the lack of a local animal rescue shelter in Argyll. They look after animals in their own homes, and just rescue and rehome in surrounding areas. The charity now rescues and rehomes along the west coast of Scotland, inland, and the islands. Anywhere, in fact, where there is a need, providing they have the resources at the time.

    Borders Animal Welfare

    This charity takes in dogs, cats and small animals that are no longer able to be looked after in their present homes for whatever reason. They receive no funding and rely totally on donations from the public to fund their work. They have successfully rehomed thousands of animals over the past 25 years, both within the Scottish Borders and further afield. They employ staff trained in dog and cat care with experience in the assessment in both the health and training needs of the animals and provide training to all the dogs that come into their care so they ensure that they are homed as quickly as possible and with the best possible chance of success.

    Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre

    Opened in March 2003 on the site of rescue kennels formerly run by another charity this group of local people, supported by the local media and residents of Dumfries and Galloway, set out to raise sufficient funds to keep a dog rescue and rehoming facility in Dumfries and Galloway. Initially a registered charity the organisation later became a company limited by guarantee. The rescue centre services the whole of Dumfries and Galloway but, when space permits, they will take in dogs from pounds in England and from Northern Ireland to save them from being put down. They have a contract with the local council to look after stray dogs while they wait to be reclaimed by their owners and to rehome them if they are not claimed. They are licensed by the local authority for the care of dogs and take in around 350 dogs a year and have consistently rehomed about 300 during each year of operations to date. Their web site has enabled them to reach out beyond Dumfries and Galloway and we have rehomed dogs from Dorset to Orkney.

    Help Fife Animals

    This Scottish registered charity, founded in March 1994, promotes responsible pet ownership. They rescue, neuter and re-home unwanted domestic pets within Fife. When funds allow, they offer financial assistance to pet owners who are unable to meet the full cost of neutering. Animals are all looked after in foster homes, allowing experienced pet owners to assess their temperament and future needs. Help Fife Animals own the Dog Management Centre in Leslie, where they offer 7 different dog training classes each week. Dog Behavioural problems can be dealt with by appointment.

    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. The attractive site has lots of illustrations of the creatures which have been rescued or are permanent residents.

    Rescue Scottish Pets

    This site aims to raise awareness of pets in need of rescue all over Scotland, to provide one place where people looking to rescue a pet can come to find those pets in need and provide a place where shelters can easily advertise pets in need at no cost, and very little effort to themselves.

    North East Wildlife & Animal Rescue Centre (The New Arc)

    Based just outside Ellon, Aberdeenshire, but covering the whole of the North East of Scotland New Arc have a ten acre site, with facilities for a range of animals from horses to guinea pigs, buzzards to foxes. They currently have several buildings which can be utilised in various way and are always striving to improve conditions for the animals in their care. Totally funded by donations, sponsors and membership, they take no wages whatsoever, and 100% of funds received are put straight into the Charity for the welfare of the animals in their care. They aim to refuse no animal, bird or reptile, whether it be domestic or wild, but with limited land it has become impossible to take every animal we are requested to help but they do try to find alternative accommodation with other local organisations if they cannot help.

    Park Farm Animal Sanctuary

    Based on a farm in South Ayrshire, the organisation has been rescuing animals for the past ten years. The majority of these stay with us for life due to the fact they have had issues, this meant they needed consistency and the love and appreciation that they can offer. Up to now we have been self funding the animals, offering them the best life possible, they are all well fed, happy and have the best in veterinary care. In order to expand and enable them to take in more animals they are putting some of the long term resident animals up for sponsorship. This will allow sponsors to have the enjoyment from them as well. They will receive quarterly updates and photographs of the chosen animal and can even come and visit them. There are a number of different animals that are available some of the more unusual ones include goats, lambs and calves and chinchillas which are rescued and will remain with us for the rest of their days.


    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 Photography

    A web site dedicated to the appreciation of the wildlife and environment of the Scottish Highlands. Wildlife Photographer David Whitaker has spent over thirty years putting together a collection of images of the birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants that are to be encountered in North of Scotland. The site includes a large selection of his excellent wildlife photographs with galleries covering such areas as Divers and Grebes, Seabirds, Shorebirds in summer, autumn and winter], Herons and Rails, Finches & Buntings, Warblers, Dunnock to Waxwing, Land Mammals, Marine Mammals, Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies, Flowering Plants.

    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.


    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.

    Nature of Scotland Awards

    The Nature of Scotland Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature conservation by celebrating success stories and protecting that which is under real threat. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) hosts the Nature of Scotland Awards Awards, which recognise the very best efforts made for the benefit of nature conservation in Scotland. Entries are open for these Awards and there are eight categories to choose from, including a new Nature Tourism Award Ė donít miss your chance to submit an entry!

    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.

    RSPB Nature Reserve, Loch Leven

    The reserve is on the southern shore of the loch and used to be known as Vane Farm, RSPB bought this reserve in 1967 as a centre for environmental education. Visitor centre has a visitor centre open from 10 am to 5 pm and a cafe open till 4pm with hot food orders until 3pm. You can climb the trail through the woodland to the top of Vane Hill for a spectacular view over the loch, Kinross-shire hills and countryside. At the loch, there are three hides (open 24 hours a day throughout the year) which allow you to get a bit closer to the birds - access is via an underpass below the road and in the sunmmer the swallows build thir nests there. Also in the summer, there is a meadow planted with wild flowers that attracts bees and butterflies and in the winter, thousands of pink-footed geese, swans and ducks make the reserve their home.

    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:

    Big Fat Birder - Scotland Links has a great set of individual links to pages on most areas of Scotland (some are more comprehensive than others) including Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, City of Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk, West Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, Clackmannanshire, Fife, City of Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Moray, Highlands, Western Isles (Na h-Eileanan Siar), Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, South Lanarkshire, Scottish Borders, Orkney, Shetland Isles.

    Scotbird concentrates on bird watching in Scotland but also wildlife including butterflies, moths and other winged insects. The forum reports bird sightings and has a large picture gallery of these and other wildlife.

    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.

    Birds of the Outer Hebrides is a comprehensive site covering all aspects of birds and bird watching in the Western Isles. Loads of pictures and information.

    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.

    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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