The Outer Hebrides are an archipelago 15 inhabited islands and over 100 smaller islands and skerries, 70 km off the west coast of Scotland. They from Lewis in the north over to 200 km to Mingulay in the south. The outlying, remote, North Atlantic islands of St. Kilda, Sula Sgeir and North Rona are not geologically part of the archipelago but have cultural links to the Outer Hebrides. The islands each have a distinct character and an array of habitats; the peaty uplands and blanket bogs of Lewis contrast with the rugged mountains of Harris and the machair and sandy beaches of the Uists and Barra.
Geologically the archipelago comprises Lewisian gneiss, some of the oldest rock in Europe, which has been transformed by the action of ice, wind, rain and waves into a distinctive Hebridean landscape. These wild lands have also been shaped by the hand of man, through cultivation, grazing and woodland clearance; and are now recognised as internationally important with respect to their habitats, fauna and flora. Through recording, mapping and monitoring their biodiversity we can help to safeguard their future by providing the information that is required to enable land managers and statutory authorities to make informed decisions.
Outer Hebrides Biological Recording was established in 2012, by a group of local amateur naturalists, to collect and collate information about the animals, plants and fungi which are found in the islands and to make this data available to everyone.
This information will help to build a more comprehensive understanding of the islands' biodiversity and help ensure that decisions that may affect the quality of our natural environment are made with the best available knowledge. We maintain a database of biological records which are available through the National Biodiversity Network Atlas Scotland and the OHBR websites.
We encourage individuals to become involved in biological recording and communities to recognise the importance of maintaining biodiversity to conserve their natural heritage. We offer support and guidance for local biological recorders, providing training opportunities for new and more experienced recorders to improve their skills. We are committed to working together with a range of academic and conservation bodies, professional biologists and other amateur naturalists, providing local knowledge and expertise to discover more about the natural life of our islands.
We would like to acknowledge the expertise, commitment and generosity of the OHBR team of recorders who are turning an aspiration into reality and "putting dots" on the distribution maps for the Outer Hebrides for the benefit of us all.
Working together to promote an interest and enjoyment of our wildlife
OHBR is managed and operated by a team of four volunteers and the management of our database and associated activities is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage