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04 December, 2014

Isle of May consultation begins

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) wants to hear from people with an interest in the Isle of May National Nature Reserve (NNR) to help prepare a new ten-year management plan for the island. A public consultation will run from 8 December to 25 January.

Often described as the’ Jewel of the Forth’, the Isle of May is an internationally important breeding seabird and grey seal island at the mouth of the Firth of Forth.

Caroline Gallacher, SNH Operations Officer said, “About 10,000 people visit the Isle of May every year, and we’re asking for feedback on anything we could do differently to make a visit to the May even better. There is very little we can change in terms of managing the wildlife on the island, as we are obliged to protect it. But we’d really welcome ideas or comments on the experience of visitors to the island.”

The Isle of May is a special place with a rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage. The impressive cliffs and coastal habitats provide a safe haven for many breeding seabirds, grey seals and migratory birds. The May offers visitors an exhilarating and varied wildlife experience. People are able to enjoy, learn and appreciate its wildlife both and on the island, from mainland locations and by using websites and social media.

For a copy of the consultation leaflet, phone 01334 654038 or email Copies may also be downloaded from the Isle of May’s pages on the NNR website at

Known locally as 'The May', this small island sits on the edge of the Firth of Forth. The island's importance for seabirds has drawn scientists to its shores for many years and the May is home to the oldest continuously running bird observatory in the UK. The May is also a regular haunt for grey seals, often seen lounging on the shoreline rocks. This island is a historical gem and it's been a place of pilgrimage for centuries with an early island monastery. The May was also the site of Scotland's very first lighthouse, built in 1636, while the current, castle-like lighthouse was designed by the engineer Robert Stevenson.

Contact information

SNH Media

NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

’S e NatureScot buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Bidh sinn a’ neartachadh àrainneachd na h-Alba agus a’ brosnachadh dhaoine gu barrachd suim a chur ann an nàdar. Tha e mar phrìomhachas againn gum bi nàdar na h-Alba beairteach agus gun dèilig sinn gu h-èifeachdach le èiginn na gnàth-shìde. Tha an tuilleadh fiosrachaidh aig no air Twitter aig


Isle of May: Isle of May. Please credit Scottish Natural Heritage.

Isle of May

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