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Species on the Edge

The Species on the Edge programme is working across Scotland’s coastal and island landscapes to safeguard the futures of 37 threatened species associated with coastal habitats, including the Great Yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus), the distinctive island race of Moss carder bumblebee (Bombus muscorum agricolae) and the Northern Colletes mining bee (Colletes floralis).

A Great Yellow bumblebee taking off from the purple flower of a thistle.
Group of people surveying on coastal landscape

Mairi Carrey

This innovative programme involves close collaboration between the Rethink Nature group of species conservation charities, which includes the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. The group are working with NatureScot to deliver Species on the Edge. Parter organisations are leading the delivery of Area Plans in seven different landscapes – Shetland, Orkney, the North coast, Outer Hebrides, Argyll and the Inner Hebrides, the East coast, and Solway.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is leading on the delivery of the Outer Hebrides Area Plan as well as co-ordinating work for priority bee species in four other landscape areas. Unusually, this will see staff employed by the Trust working not only for bumblebees, but rare birds, orchids, bats and beetles as well, while our project partners deliver work on our behalf for bees in other landscapes. It’s an exciting collaboration which aims to forge stronger connections between people and nature, and within communities too.

Developing key relationships, contacts and networks with stakeholders will be key to the project. Recruiting and training volunteers and land managers are crucial steps to help us work better to help save these rare and threatened species.

Further information
Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival
Species on the Edge – about the project


A Rethink Nature initiated project, led by NatureScot in partnership with Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Plantlife Scotland and RSPB Scotland.


We would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery players, the Scottish Government, the Esmee Fairburn Trust and the Dulverton Trust for their generous contributions to this project.

Get involved

For more information about the project, please email