Funding boost for Islay will support one of the UK’s rarest birds

Red billed chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, adult perched on rock. Photograph: Martin Yelland.

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RSPB Scotland has received £20,000 from SUEZ Communities Trust for its project Restoring Coastal Habitats at the Oa on the Isle of Islay.

Islay’s coastal habitats are one of the last places in Scotland where chough, one of the UK’s rarest birds, can be found.

Through this project, RSPB Scotland will work to reduce rank, overgrown vegetation across a key section of coastal habitat that benefits local wildlife, particularly the Scottish Biodiversity Listed (SBL) chough, and promote biodiversity across the reserve.

David Wood, RSPB Scotland’s site manager at the Oa, who is looking after this restoration project, said: ‘The money from SUEZ Communities Trust will be vital for the reserve, enabling us to target our livestock grazing onto the most suitable areas for foraging chough.

‘Without this, areas of coastal grassland can quickly become unsuitable for chough, reducing the feeding habitat available for this threatened species.’

Marek Gordon, chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust, added: ‘SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund. We were delighted to be able to offer funding to RSPB Scotland.’