Based on the Isle of Mull, in the heart of the Hebrides, HWDT has been leading the way for the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the waters of western Scotland for over two decades.

We believe evidence is the foundation of effective conservation. Our research has critically advanced the understanding of species that visit seasonally or are resident in the Hebrides. Data are provided to the Scottish Government to inform protection measures for minke whales, Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoises, and basking sharks across Hebridean seas.

Using what we have learnt, we work directly with communities to encourage stewardship of our rich seas. Our education programmes reach out to over 20,000 people each year to highlight the importance of the marine environment and encourage people to take responsibility for protecting it for future generations. 

Keen to know more? Download our 2017 Annual Report.

HWDT’s work monitoring the waters of western Scotland plays an invaluable role in the protection of marine life here. By engaging with the public and harnessing the power of citizen science, the Trust has used the data collected on whales, dolphins and porpoises to inform policy makers and has been instrumental in the development of protected areas
— Liz Bonnin, TV presenter, HWDT Patron


We Believe in Citizen Science

The marine wildlife of the Hebrides is being documented and protected on a scale like never before, and it is because of citizen science. It is an exciting time for science and research; never before has it been so accessible to the public.

Volunteers are at the heart of the Trust’s research programmes. We train marine users and local communities in biological recording and species identification skills, so that people across the west coast of Scotland are collecting the information needed to understand the marine environment. 

Our History