There are many natural history organisations operating within Scotland, many of which are listed below. In addition, there are also many regional groups operating – see our regional listing pages:
Scottish Highlands, Scottish Islands, Central Scotland or Southern Scotland
BRISC is a charity which promotes the gathering of wildlife data in order to increase public awareness about biological diversity in Scotland and to ensure that effective actions are taken to conserve this resource.
Botanical Society of Scotland (Incorporating the Cryptogamic Society of Scotland)
BSS is unique in being the only British botanical society with a keen interest in both flowering and non-flowering plants (e.g. algae, mosses, ferns and fungi). Activities include lectures, symposia, field excursions, field projects and an annual exhibition meeting (held jointly with the BSBI) for exchange of information between botanists working in different areas.
Publications include a twice-yearly newsletter, BSS News, and a scientific journal,Plant Ecology & Diversity. As well as occasional books and reports.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in plants, whether professional or amateur. Current members include professional academic plant scientists, horticulturists, students and amateur field botanists, based in Scotland and around the world.
Most British butterfly species remain in decline. We aim to halt and reverse these declines. Our vision is of a world rich in butterflies for future generations to enjoy. We are also committed to the conservation of moths.
Scotland’s semi-natural forest resource has a long history of degradation. In order to provide the focus for co-ordinated action to reverse this trend and create a foundation for the long-term restoration of Scotland’s semi-natural forest resource, the Caledonian Partnership was established in 1994.
We help community woodland groups across the country achieve their aspirations and potential, providing advice, assistance and information, facilitating networking and training, and representing and promoting community woodlands to the wider world.
We are the leading wild land conservation charity in the UK. Inspired by the work, spirit and legacy of John Muir, our members care passionately about wild places wherever they may be, and the diversity of life they support.
The aim of the society is to improve the knowledge and awareness of Diptera (Two winged flies). Based in Scotland we focussed originally on Scottish and British Diptera, but over the last 20 years we have developed projects in Europe and in other parts of the world.
The National Trust for Scotland is the conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy. With over 310,000 members it is the largest conservation charity in Scotland.
Reforesting Scotland is a leading charity and movement involved in environmental, social and sustainable forestry in Scotland. Our vision involves the creation of a well-forested and productive landscape, as well as a culture which values the contribution that trees and woods bring to our lives.
With more than 800 members from all walks of life., including woodland owners, land managers, foresters, students, conservationists, keen amateurs, arborists, landscapers, timber merchants, ecologists, the Society aims to further the appreciation, understanding and knowledge of trees, woodlands and forests in Scotland.
This website has been set up primarily to gather and share information on Aspen in Scotland. We are currently developing a facility to map Aspen stands throughout Scotland.
Working in partnership to protect Scotland’s badgers, their setts and habitat.
The Scottish Beekeepers Association is the national body that represents Scotland’s beekeepers within the UK, throughout Europe and globally.
SCRA has an enviable reputation for supporting the development and enhancement of the Ranger profession in Scotland; organising networking events, training events and conferences, supporting the development of a national logo and brand for Scotland’s Ranger Services and working with Government and Government agencies to promote the profession.
These reserves help protect an amazing range of wildlife and landscapes, including many rare species and habitats of international importance. Located throughout Scotland, NNRs are open to everyone to visit and enjoy.
Scottish Native Woods exists to rescue, restore and expand Scotland’s native (natural) woodlands. We work to bring these remaining native woods back into responsible management and to enlarge these areas through natural regeneration.
Scottish Natural Heritage is funded by the Scottish Government. Its purpose is to promote care for and improvement of the natural heritage; help people enjoy it responsibly; enable greater understanding and awareness of it; and promote its sustainable use, now and for future generations.
The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club plays a central role in Scottish birdwatching, bringing together novice birdwatchers, seasoned birders and research ornithologists with the aims of studying, documenting and, not least, enjoying Scotland’s varied birdlife.
Birds of Prey form a unique part of our natural heritage in Scotland and provide tremendous pleasure to countless thousands of visitors to the countryside as well as to local communities. Although appreciated by most people living in rural areas, unfortunately, and despite legal protection for over 50 years, raptors continue to be persecuted. Some species also remain at risk to egg collectors. SRSGs are dedicated to the monitoring and conservation of raptors.
Perched on a rocky outcrop at North Berwick Harbour, overlooking the islands of the Firth of Forth and sandy beaches of East Lothian, the Scottish Seabird Centre is unique in the world. An independent charity, the Seabird Centre is a world leader in remote wildlife viewing, with live cameras located on these wildlife rich islands, visitors can pan and zoom to see the tiniest details (like the ID ring on a bird’s foot) and observe thousands of nesting seabirds and marine mammals, without disturbing the animals in any way.
The Scottish Wild Land Group works to protect and conserve wild land throughout Scotland, and has campaigned since 1982 on a wide range of issues. SWLG is in favour of sensitive development of rural areas where it is sustainable and takes account of the interests of local communities.
Formed in 1964, the Scottish Wildlife Trust is a membership-based registered charity with the objective to “advance the conservation of Scotland’s biodiversity for the benefit of present and future generations.” The Trust’s main activities focus on: managing 123 wildlife reserves and undertaking practical conservation tasks; influencing and campaigning for better wildlife-related policy and action; and inspiring people to enjoy and find out more about wildlife through our education and engagement programmes.
Trees for Life is an award-winning charity working to help restore the Caledonian Forest, which formerly covered a large part of the Scottish Highlands. Just 1% of the original forest survives today, as isolated stands of mostly old trees. Since 1989 we’ve been helping to bring this forest back from the brink, both through natural regeneration and by planting trees. Our long term vision is to restore the forest, and all its constituent species, to a 600 square mile area west of Inverness, including our 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate.
WWF Scotland (WorldWide Fund for Nature)
WWF Scotland is part of the international WWF network, one of the world’s most influential environmental organisations. Climate change, threats to natural resources and rising energy use are just some of the issues that are of growing global concern, impacting on people and wildlife right round the world. WWF Scotland works on these issues from a Scottish perspective by influencing policy, providing solutions and gaining public support and involvement.