Welcome to Islay Natural History Trust

Barnacle Geese roosting Copyright: Malcolm OgilvieThe Trust runs the Natural History Centre in Port Charlotte, Islay on the ground floor of an old whisky bond close to the beach in the village of 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 a large laboratory where children of all ages can learn to use microscopes, make pictures out of seaweed 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 the 191,388 records of 3057 different species in our Biological Database. See the Records page for access to this database online, and for instructions about sending us your own records for adding to the database. Recent major updates are listed on that page.

Both Trust members and visitors are also encouraged to leave records of their natural history sightings at the Centre - and you are invited to make entries on the INHT Blog link which can also be accessed through a terminal in our well-stocked library of books and periodicals. Find us also on Facebook link

A family of Choughs Copyright: Islay Natural History TrustIslay 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.

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, which are available free from the Centre.

Seaweed Foraging Weekend: April 8/9th 2017

We are running a 2-day seaweed foraging and cooking workshop on Islay over the weekend of 8th and 9th April in conjunction with Slate Islands Seaweed. On Saturday we will start quite early (c.8.30-9 am) to fit with the tides, locations to be finalised, and we will organise a car share.  You will learn seaweed identification and foraging techniques and then do some cooking at lunch time - finishing after lunch.  Charge £20

Sunday will be a later start!  We will concentrate our foraging around Port Charlotte, this will be a less intensive event with basic identification and some cooking back at the centre.  There will be up to 20 places available, children are welcome. Charge £10

If you're interested in coming along then please get in touch


Sat 1st April: Rejig beach clean - Uiskentuie; INHT doing beach safari with kids

Mini-Wildlife Adventures - (in conjunction with Islay and Jura Toy Library) - Thursday afternoons 2pm

For a family-friendly map and more wildlife information for children and families please go to: Wildlife for Kids link


Summer Walks are held each Sunday at 2pm.
Stout footwear and dress for the weather; sorry no dogs. The walk is just £4 per person or £10 per family (2 adults plus children), members of the Islay Natural History Trust £2. WALKS START AT 2pm

Tuesday April 4th - Gillian Gilbert (RSPB) 'Night time birds'

Evening Talks are held in the Centre at Port Charlotte and start at 7.30pm.

£3.50 Admission (£1 for members) which includes tea and light refreshments.

Our Natural History Centre Opening Hours are Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 4.30pm, May to September. 

Join the Islay Natural History Trust

INHT logo Copyright: Islay Natural History TrustYour membership of the Trust will allow us to continue our work at the Centre.  Members enjoy free access at all times, and a discounted admission to our talks and presentations which are held approximately once a month.  Please help us by clicking on the secure PayPal link below or contact us for more details.  Become a Member of the Trust.  We appreciate your support.

Sites of Interest:
INHT Blog link
INHT Facebook Page link
Islay Birds link
Islay Info link

Islay Natural History Trust

The Natural History Centre
Port Charlotte, Islay, PA48 7TX
Registered Charity No. SC013713
Contact us

The work of Islay Natural History Trust is supported by Bruichladdich Distillery Company Ltd and The Botanist Foundation
Bruichladdich Copyright: Malcolm OgilvieBotanist Copyright: Malcolm Ogilvie