‘Coastal Treasures’, based on the Scottish Solway coast, is part of ‘Species on the Edge’, a programme of conservation work being developed together with the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Continuously sculpted by waves and winds, 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.

Species on the Edge is a partnership of eight of Scotland’s premier nature conservation organisations striving to conserve our native wildlife – NatureSot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) and the Rethink Nature partnership: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB. With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are developing a programme of work to improve and secure the survival chances of over 40 nationally and internationally vulnerable species in seven landscape-scale areas around Scotland’s coast and islands.

A programme of work for Species on the Edge is currently in a development phase which will continue until September 2021. Thereafter we hope to receive additional funding to implement the work, extending over four and a half years. Actions and targets for species are being coordinated nationally through nine species-specific project plans, one of which is Coastal Treasures.

Within the Solway are colonies of great crested newt and adder, and most significantly natterjack toad, here at its northern limit in Britain, but where it has a tenuous foothold. The Scottish Solway natterjack toad population has seen a major decline in recent years due to a number of factors, rendering many colonies small and vulnerable to extinction.

The Coastal Treasures project is led by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and is focusing on securing the future the Solway natterjacks, working with landowners, volunteers and local communities. ARC will also work with the other conservation partners to combine actions for other species into an integrated, multi-species, cost-effective work plan for the whole of the Scottish Solway. ARC is also advising on reptile and amphibian components in other landscapes covered by Species on the Edge.

If we obtain additional funding, we plan to:

  • Secure and improve the future for coastal and island species in Scotland.
  • Strengthen the partnership approach to conservation work in Scotland.
  • Empower people and form a conservation support network between communities to safeguard biodiversity.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity to Scotland to a wide and diverse audience

Activities would include:

  • Enhancement of habitat quality and availability
  • Survey and collation of conservation data
  • Removal of invasive non-native species
  • Advice for landowners
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Training to support new skills
  • Community and creative culture events

For more information about the Coastal Treasures project please contact [email protected]