Workers involved in a £1.3 million restoration of Dunollie Castle have been given special instructions not to disturb its resident spiders.
The arachnids have made a home for centuries at Dunollie Castle, overlooking Oban Bay in Argyll and Bute.
Special care will be taken not to disturb the Meta Manardi, which are some of the largest spiders in Britain, as experts get rid of the castle's ivy which is damaging stonework and is unsafe.
The spiders live in an 8ft deep cave-like window opening, which has been blocked off, within the castle walls. Mike Robertson, secretary of the MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust, said: "We are talking about work that could take six or seven years and the spiders will have to be specially protected. "Basically it's the darkness that they need, we can't put bright work lights there. They will have to be kept in the dark, but it's for the experts to decide how best to protect them."
Work is due to start shortly thanks to £100,000 of funding made up of money from Historic Scotland and a private donation.
Source: Herald: Thursday 20 June 2013