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 251,827 records of 3056 different species in our Biological Database. See the Wildlife 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.


Download the full programme here: Family Activity Programme

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

4th August: (extra date) Bowmore battery (meet at playing fields car park) - Low Tide rockpooling

6th August: Jura seashore - Craighouse

13th August: - no activity but come to the Islay show for games, challenges and face painting

20th August: Strandline treasures - Uiskentuie strand (west end)

27th August: Scorpions and dragons: Meet at Bruichladdich pier.

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


Download a summary of our 2015 Summer Programme

Summer Walks are held each Sunday at 2pm. Download the rAmbles Programme

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

August rAmbles

2nd: Currie Sands near Portnahaven: we'll have a wander round to spot any interesting wildflowers like Sea Holly, and have a look at the crevices where the waves come crashing in, as well as what might be along the shoreline. We're not too far there from where the LIMPET wave generator was, and you'll see the power of the waves along the rocks there. Also nearby is Frenchman's rocks which is usually good for sea-watching. If you fancy coming along, meet at the Currie Sands parking area for 2pm.

9th Ardnave: Dunes, Choughs and Singing Seals. Meet at Ardnave Loch parking area

16th Port Ellen: Around the Ard. Meet on the south side of bay by the Coastguard hut on Frederick Crescent

23rd No Walk - Kilchoman Gala

30th Geology Walk - Singing Sands. Meet at the new cemetery car park at Kilnaughton. Step back 650 million years to see and hear the story of deep-sea fans, rare minerals, folding and fossil oil fields.


Evening Talks are held in the Centre at Port Charlotte and start at 7.30pm.
Each Monday evening in July and August there is an illustrated presentation on the 'Wildlife Wonders of Islay' Free if you have an admission ticket for the week!

Details of the Autumn 2015 programme will be posted here when available. £3 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, including 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
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