Islands o the Clyde
The Islands o the Firth o Clyde are the fift lairgest o the major Scots island groups efter the Inner an Ooter Hebrides, Orkney an Shetland. Thay are situatit in the Firth o Clyde atween Ayrshire an Argyll an Bute. Thare are aboot fowerty islands an skerries, o which anerly fower are inhabitit an anerly nine lairger than 40 hectares (99 acres).[Note 1] The lairgest an maist populous are Arran an Bute, an Great Cumbrae an Holy Isle are servit bi dedicatit ferry routes an aw. Unlik the fower lairger Scots airchipelagos, nane o the isles in this group are connectit tae ane anither or tae the mainland bi brigs.
The geologie an geomorphology o the aurie is complex an the islands an the surroondin sea lochs each hae distinctive featurs. The influence o the Atlantic Ocean an the North Atlantic Drift create a mild, damp oceanic climate.
The lairger islands hae been continuously inhabitit syne Neolithic times, wur influencit bi the emergence o the kinrick o Dál Riata frae 500 AD an then absorbit intae the emergin Kinrick o Alba unner Kenneth MacAlpin. Thay experiencit Norse incursions durin the early Middle Ages an then became pairt o the Kinrick o Scotland in the 13t century. Thare is a diversity o wildlife, includin three species o rare endemic tree.
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- The definition o a island uised is that it is land that is surroondit bi seawatter on a daily basis, but no necessarily at aw stages o the tide, excludin human devices such as brigs an causeweys. Various ither definitions are uised in the Scots context. For example, the General Register Office for Scotland define a island as "a mass o laund surroondit bi watter, separate frae the Scots mainland" but awtho they include islands linkit bi brigs etc., this is no clear frae this definition. Haswell-Smith (2004) uises "an Island is a piece of land or group o pieces o laund which is entirely surroondit bi watter at Lowest Astronomical Tide an tae which thare is nae permanent means o dry access". This consciously excludes brigit islands, which maist ither sources include.