Species Champions: Wilson’s filmy fern

One of only two species of filmy fern native to the UK, Wilson’s filmy fern is a classic and characteristic species of the north west coast Atlantic woodland. These beautiful ferns are named for their translucent leaves which are only one cell thick. Filmy ferns need very humid conditions to thrive, and it grows in very humid woodland on rocks and old walls.

Action Needed

  1. Support SNH and SEPA in implementing guidance on small scale hydro scheme locations to protect the internationally important sites where this species lives.
  2. Support initiatives to control and eradicate Rhododendron ponticum from the West Coast Important Plant Area and designated sites.
  3. Help us promote the sheer diversity and amazing character of the Celtic rainforest where this species grows.
  4. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.



Its two key threats are the invasion of Rhododendron ponticum, which alters the habitat to such an extent that this fern, and the associated bryophytes and lichens, cannot survive; and small-scale hydroelectric dams which reduce humidity in west coast ravines.

MSP Species Champion

Jamie Greene

Member for: West Scotland

Party: Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

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