Species on the Edge logo

Species on the Edge is a bold and ambitious partnership of eight of Scotland’s nature conservation organisations striving to conserve Scotland’s native wildlife.  Led by NatureScot with the Rethink Nature partnership (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB) and 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. 

The Project:

Y Glesyn Bach (gwryw, is-adain) - Bob Eade

The Species on the Edge partnership began a one-year development phase in September 2020 ahead of an envisioned, subject to receiving additional funding, four- and half-year programme of work to be delivered through nine species-specific project plans. Two of these will be coordinated by Butterfly Conservation, A brighter future for herb-rich pastures and Rockin’ the Blues.  

A brighter future for herb-rich pastures will focus on the coastline of Argyll and the Inner Hebrides aiming to conserve threatened grassland habitats for important butterflies and moths. 

Rockin’ the Blues will implement conservation action to preserve populations of Small Blue and Northern Brown Argus butterflies on the coast of Angus, Caithness and around the Moray and Solway Firths.  

Key species:

Scotland’s damp coastal grasslands retain some of the most important Marsh Fritillary populations in Europe. By working with landowners we aim to protect and conserve these habitats which benefit from traditional extensive grazing practices. 

The west coast of Scotland and the Inner Hebrides are home to some rare moths including Slender Scotch Burnet, New Forest Burnet, Transparent Burnet and Talisker Burnet. These species have precise habitat requirements and can thrive on steep coastal grasslands when conditions are right. Conservation work will focus on removing invasive species and working with landowners to achieve beneficial levels of grazing. 

The Small Blue is our smallest butterfly and is often overlooked in its coastal grassland habitats where its sole foodplant, Kidney Vetch, is found. The Northern Brown Argus inhabits species-rich grassland habitats where its sole larval foodplant Common Rock-rose grows. Our project will help tackle invasive scrub, lack of grazing and loss of habitat that has led to declining populations of both species of butterfly.


New Forest Burnet, Scotland (Tom Prescot)

At the heart of the Species on the Edge partnership is an innovative approach to delivering conservation and supporting communities to safeguard biodiversity. Our projects aim to carry out vital conservation work and by working with local people and inspiring communities, we will deliver a brighter future for these species. 


For further information about the project please contact David Hill at @email or on 01786 459813

Project Partners:

Species on the Edge is being developed by NatureScot and the Rethink Nature partners (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB). 

NatureScot and Rethink Nature logos

Project Funders:

The development phase is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo