The Arran Naturalist revisited

When some old copies of The Arran Naturalist came into my hands last month, I thought it would be lovely to share some of the articles in the Voice for Arran over the coming months. Some readers may remember this informative, community based Nature journal, which was printed from 1978 – 2000, as well as the unique Arran Nature Centre at Cladach, from which The Arran Naturalist and the Arran Natural History Society evolved. A commemorative edition of the first issue to mark the 40th anniversary of the Arran Natural History Society was reprinted in 2018. To enquire about available copies, please contact


Original front cover Issue One, Summer 1978

















The first issue contains a range articles which are still relevant today (especially perhaps in the context of the just published State of Nature Report as related in this Voice), including notes on basking sharks, seals, herons, and buzzards, as well as information on spagnum moss, the Merkland Wood Project, and the botany of Goat Fell. Set out below is the piece on Buzzards, by D. McNicol, who set up the Arran Nature Centre and was key to the founding and development of The Arran Naturalist. In the article, he observes the adaptability of the buzzard but notes the decline of the species due to farming and game-keeping practices over the previous hundreds of years. (To keep the style and feel of the original journal, images of the pages are included rather than the text re-typed. All material copyright Arran Natural History Society).