Bass Rock

From Academic Kids

Bass Rock (Template:Coor dms) is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, off North Berwick.

Missing image
Bass_Rock.jpg
Bass Rock from North Berwick. (Photo by Mick Knapton)

It is a volcanic plug and over 100 m high. It is part of the Firth of Forth Islands SPA, a Special Protection Area covering some, but not all of the islands in the inner and outer Firth. Bass Rock itself is an SSSI, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, in its own right.

It plays host to at least 40,000 pairs of gannets and is the largest single rock gannetry in the world so that, when viewed from the mainland, large regions of the surface appear white due to the sheer number of birds (and their droppings). In fact the scientific name for the gannet, Sula bassana or Morus bassanus, derives its name from the rock. They were traditionally known locally as 'Solan Goose'.

Historically the home of the Lawder family, their crest (the gannet head) reflects the use of the birds for food in lean times. It was also a notorious gaol for many decades where many political prisoners were sent.

It is also home to a 20 metre lighthouse, built in 1903 by David Stevenson, but has been unmanned since 1988.

It is sometimes called, "the Ailsa Craig of the East".

See also

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