Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 885–896 | Cite as

The management of offshore islands for nature conservation: the outer Outer Hebrides

  • Stewart AngusEmail author
  • David Maclennan


Of the 52 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, 12 are separated from the main islands at high tide. Within these 12 sites, only one of which (St Kilda) has any human inhabitants, there are a further eight islands or groups of islands more than 2 km apart, so that within the Outer Hebrides, there are - for practical purposes - 20 separate offshore designated sites requiring survey, monitoring and management input. This presents challenges of resource allocation and logistics for the small team of conservation staff based within the two Outer Hebrides offices of Scottish Natural Heritage, Scotland’s statutory nature conservation agency. There are also challenges for the other agencies and managers involved in these sites, which in some cases allow the pooling of resources, but in others, lead to new sets of problems with conservation implications. These problems are discussed and reviewed with regard to future management and the obligations placed on Scottish Natural Heritage.


Islands Biogeography Monitoring Conservation Scotland Outer Hebrides 



We thank the following for their comments in relation to this study: Callan Duck of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews, Alison Johnson of Harris, and Mark Tasker of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Deborah Anderson, Local Government Archaeologist for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), commented on the manuscript in respect of the human heritage. Lastly, we thank our former colleague Mary Harman, who may have been the first to use the term “outer Outer Hebrides” – none of us can remember – and she has generously allowed us to use it here.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scottish Natural HeritageInvernessScotland
  2. 2.Scottish Natural HeritageStornowayScotland

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