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Bass Rock

The Bass Rock off the coast of North Berwick is described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the wildlife wonders of the world”. Gleaming brilliant white, the rock is home to over 150,000 gannets, the biggest island colony in the world with nests spreading out from the cliffs to cover almost every inch of available space. Gannets mate for life, they return to the Bass in February, laying their eggs from mid May. The young do not leave the nest until September-October.

In the 18th and 19th century young gannets were harvested each year. Men on ropes descended the cliffs knocking the fat young gannets on the head and throwing them down to the boats below. Known as Solan Geese they were regarded as a delicacy and sold on the streets of Edinburgh.

This isolated island in a strategic position at the entrance to the Firth of Forth was once fortified and garrisoned. It was also used as a state prison, the conditions being particularly gruesome for the Covenanters incarcerated there in the late 18th century.

Boat trips from North Berwick.

Bass Rock
 

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