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Conservation work

The 5th Marquess of Bute bequeathed St Kilda to the National Trust for Scotland in 1957. In the same year, it was designated a National Nature Reserve.

St Kilda is now one of 43 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in Scotland. As well as the important seabird colonies, the unique sheep, fieldmice and wrens, there’s a wealth of marine life around the archipelago. It’s the function of NNRs to safeguard these features, together with the botanical, geological, archaeological and cultural interests, and also to promote good management, research and public enjoyment.

St Kilda has received many national and international designations in recognition of its outstanding natural and cultural heritage.

In 1986 St Kilda was designated by UNESCO as Scotland’s first World Heritage Site, conferring an international obligation on the Trust to ensure the natural heritage of the islands is protected and preserved. This was extended in 2004 to include the surrounding marine environment, and in 2005 St Kilda was awarded dual World Heritage Site status for its natural and cultural significance.

Today, the National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence work in partnership to further a continuing programme of conservation and research on the islands and to ensure the care and protection of this World Heritage Site.