Hill of Towanreef
|Unitary Authority||Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland|
|SAC EU Code||UK0012576|
|Status||Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)|
|* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.|
General site character
Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (15%)
Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (68%)
Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (17%)
Download the Standard Data Form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)
Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.
Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site
Hill of Towanreef represents Calaminarian grasslands at low altitude in the eastern Scottish Highlands. This low-lying hilly area of dolomitic serpentine is similar to the Green Hill of Strathdon but is more extensive. Serpentine debris vegetation occurs amongst more extensive areas of serpentine-influenced vegetation, in particular 4030 European dry heath. The serpentine debris community has abundant spring sandwort Minuartia verna, common scurvygrass Cochlearia officinalis and eyebright Euphrasia officinalis with thrift Armeria maritima. Also present are the moss Grimmia ungeri, a species of dry serpentine rock known from only two or three sites in north-east Scotland, and a serpentine form of black spleenwort Asplenium adiantum-nigrum. Other habitats on the site associated with serpentine include 5130 Juniperus communis formations and base-rich flushes, which locally support 1528 Marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus.
Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site
Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site
1528 Marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus
Marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus occurs on the scattered base-rich flushes associated with this low-lying hilly area of dolomitic serpentine in north-east Scotland. About 500 plants grow at this site, which is the most northerly surviving locality for the species in the UK.
Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection
- Not Applicable
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