Welcome to Islay Natural History Trust


The Trust runs the Natural History Centre in Port Charlotte where displays illustrate the island's wildlife riches, from its underlying geology to its birds, butterflies, wild flowers and mammals. There are marine and fresh water aquariums and a touch tank where you can become closely acquainted with some of our local sea creatures. We have large laboratory where children of all ages can learn to use microscopes, make pictures out of seaweeds or even dissect an owl pellet. There is an entire room dedicated to drawing things, a touch screen computer and another terminal where you can browse through some of the nearly 200,000 records in our Biological Database.

Both Trust members and visitors are encouraged to leave records of their natural history sightings at the Centre - and you are invited to make entries on our blog which is accessed through a terminal in our well-stocked library of books and periodicals.

The Trust publishes regular newsletters, one of which doubles as an annual report with a brief summary of the year's natural history, an account of the monthly evening talks at the Natural History Centre, as well as the annual accounts. The Trust also publishes checklists of birds, butterflies and dragonflies, mammals and reptiles, and wild flowers, these are available free from the Centre.

Islay is perhaps best known for its wonderful all-year-round bird watching, for its tens of thousands of wintering geese, over 100 breeding species and spring and autumn migration. The island also enjoys fine displays of wild flowers, a rare butterfly, a wealth of seashore life and much, much more.