Isle of Eigg
an exceptional range of habitats... supporting a great diversity of wildlife
The Isle of Eigg is situated off the North West coast of Scotland. Just five miles long by three miles at its broadest point, the island holds an exceptional range of habitats from wet and dry heaths to bog, woodland, meadow and coastal habitats, supporting a great diversity of wildlife.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a member of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, which manages much of the island. The aims are to maintain and enhance woodland habitats, restore raised bogs, maintain farmed landscape diversity and encourage tourism and recreation.
Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane
In 1997 islanders, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Highland Council formed the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust (IEHT) which successfully purchased Eigg and now manages much of the island.
Much of the scheme’s work has since been completed, meaning that woodlands are secure and are regenerating, there is a tourism infrastructure in place and many island farmers are involved in agri-environment schemes. The work thus far has included 9.1 hectares of new planting, 3.7 hectares of native broadleaves restoration, 16,620m of new fencing and 2,000m of wood chip paths put in place, and forest machinery skills implemented. There is also a new woodland grant scheme in place to continue the vital work of forest restructuring.
The scheme has brought many benefits to bird species such as long-eared owls and short-eared owls. Hen harriers have successfully bred on the island for the past four years. Recent management work has greatly improved the site for the rare large heath butterfly. Newly-created ‘rides’ through the woodland have created a ‘flyway’ for pipistrelle bats and have also benefited several butterfly species including dark green and small pearl bordered fritillaries. The scheme has also brought great social and economic benefits to the local communities in the form of training, employment, and good access to the island, thus increasing tourism.
Start date: 1997
Scheme area: 3,000 hectares
Trust reserves within the scheme
This scheme is helping species including...
Snipe, red-throated diver, golden eagle, hen harrier, redwing, fieldfare, snow bunting, brambling, minke whale, otter, dolphin, killer whale, pink moss campion, white mountain avens, kidney vetch, wood anemone, bluebell, honeysuckle, 12 orchid species.
Current threats to the landscape
None (previously, over-grazing, land drainage)
This scheme is also...
Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving access for people, encouraging green tourism, providing skills training, producing local food
Local Authorities, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust.