How can I help Carna Conservation projects during my stay?

We really appreciate everyone’s help to monitor, regenerate and conserve our native flora and fauna on the Isle of Carna.

Lots of guests ask “what can we do?” and to be sure no matter your age or ability that extra help is greatly appreciated!

Seasearch Dive

We welcome groups, or individual recognised Seasearch divers, to stay on the island who can add to the information we have about what lives and grows in the waters surrounding the Isle of Carna. There is a huge selection of common and some very rare creatures to be found including flame shell reef.

Seasearch West of Scotland have a fantastic report which can be viewed here

Citizen Science Surveys

For the first time in 2021 visitors to the island have been asked if they would like to participate in a pilot feasibility study. The study chosen is the Imperial College OPAL Soil and Earthworm survey. We were delighted by the number of participants and hopefully, once the collected data is analysed we will be able to perform more surveys increasing our knowledge and monitoring changes. There is more information about the OPAL Citizen Science surveys here. To see a PDF copy of the Carna Survey follow this link

Bracken bashing! 

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a difference and “bracken bashing” is one of those things. With overgrazing and loss of tree canopy, bracken spreads out of control. Whilst measures are in place to gradually reverse these adverse effects reducing the bracken and allowing grasses and wild flowers to grow by manually attacking growing bracken is a great help.

  • Tools needed, A big stick, probably wellies, long trousers tucked into socks.
  • Process, bash bracken stems enough to break them.
  • May, June, July and August are the best times
  • avoid steep slopes
  • avoid areas with wild flower undergrowth
  • Be aware and watch out for hidden obstacles and ditches
  • There is a possibility that bracken spores are carcinogenic. The H&S Executive recommends that a suitable face mask should be worn while cutting or working in spore-producing bracken (ie during late July, August and September) Please ask a member of staff, ideally before your visit so that we can have it ready for you if you intend to bracken bash.


This is a vital job that can be undertaken everytime you are out and about on the island. A huge amount of work has gone on to clear the non native, invasive rododendrons from Carna. During your stay you may see Donald Kennedy, Gordon French and the team on the hill. Gordon and Donald developed this most effective method of rhododendron clearing a few years ago and the effects are clearly visible.

  • Tools needed. none! but you will need wellies and long trousers tucked into socks.
  • Process, pull small saplings clean out of the ground.
  • Anything bigger than 6 inches will probably defeat you!
  • Avoid steep slopes, watch out for ditches and obstacles.

Come and Stay!

Wildlife and eco-tourism makes up the mainstay of our business plan to achieve economic sustainability of the Initiative and fund our Conservation Projects, and we make sure to provide you the best possible experience in return for supporting the project. We have a range of ways to stay on the island from Self-catered Escapes, to all inclusive residential holidays and Courses. You can also visit for the day on most Saturdays for £10pp, please contact by email or phone to check availability.


Throughout the year we have a number of volunteer opportunities, these include conservation work on the island, carry out survey work for us, help with maintenance and supporting our science research. To keep up-to-date on opportunities available sign up to our mailing list here and follow us on Facebook and Twitter or if you would like to offer a particular skill or trade in return for accommodation on the island then do contact us.