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Special Areas of Conservation

Hill of Towanreef

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland
Centroid* NJ428246
Latitude 57.3083
Longitude -2.95
SAC EU Code UK0012576
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 1889.66
* 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.
Location of Hill of Towanreef 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 Natura 2000 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

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.