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Special Areas of Conservation

Dunkeld - Blairgowrie Lochs

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Eastern Scotland
Centroid* NO045436
Latitude 56.575
Longitude -3.554166667
SAC EU Code UK0012638
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 427.84
* 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 Dunkeld - Blairgowrie Lochs SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (68.5%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (4.5%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (4.5%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (3.5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (16%)
  • Coniferous woodland (0.5%)
  • Mixed woodland (1.5%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (1%)

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

  • This site, comprising five lochs along the Lunan Burn on the northern edge of the central Scottish lowlands, provides a natural example of gradually-increasing eutophy. The three upper lochs (Craiglush, Lowes and Butterstone) lie north of the Highland Boundary Fault with catchments which are predominantly upland and acidic; the lower lochs (Clunie and Marlee) lie south of the Fault with predominantly agricultural and more enriched catchments. The series provides examples of relatively unpolluted oligotrophic to mesotrophic loch types, which are rare and decreasing habitats in Britain, especially in the lowlands. The aquatic flora is exceptionally diverse, with the number of pondweeds Potamogeton spp. at Loch of the Lowes and Loch Clunie being outstanding. 1833 slender naiad Najas flexilis occurs in each of the lochs. The site also contains a very large number of plant species, including many of local or national rarity, and is notable for the extensive area of poor-fen.

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

  • 1833 Slender naiad Najas flexilis

    This site contains the most easterly occurrence of slender naiad Najas flexilis on the Scottish mainland and is the second-largest known population. The site consists of a cluster of five lochs lying along a river valley – the Lochs of Butterstone, Craiglush and Lowes are about 5 km upstream of Lochs Clunie and Marlee. They are all mesotrophic waterbodies with a diverse macrophyte flora. Slender naiad has been recorded since the 19th century in the lochs, and it was present in all of them in 1994.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

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