Beinn a' Ghlo
|Unitary Authority||Eastern Scotland|
|SAC EU Code||UK0012957|
|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
Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.5%)
Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (15.8%)
Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (61.4%)
Dry grassland, Steppes (13.6%)
Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (0.1%)
Alpine and sub-Alpine grassland (3.4%)
Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (0.1%)
Coniferous woodland (0.6%)
Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (4.5%)
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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
4030 European dry heaths
Beinn a’Ghlo has a similar range of European dry heaths to the Cairngorms and similarly is representative of the upland heaths of the cool and less oceanic north-east of Scotland. The dry heaths are even more predominant than on the Cairngorms, occupying almost half of the total area of the site. The principal NVC types present are H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath, H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa heath and H16 Calluna vulgaris – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath, mostly occurring on acid soils developed over quartzite, giving good examples of species-poor heath. The most extensive type from low to high altitudes on the site, typical of the eastern Highlands, is Calluna – Vaccinium heath. There are also good examples of snow-bed forms of Vaccinium – Deschampsia heath developed at the upper limit of dry heath in which late snow-lie causes a replacement of heather Calluna by bilberry Vaccinium spp. On gradations to limestone soils there are some examples of herb-rich heath. There are well-developed transitions to 4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths.
Beinn a’Ghlo has a wide range of Alpine and Boreal heaths (H13 Calluna vulgaris – Cladonia arbuscula, H18 Vaccinium myrtillus – Deschampsia flexuosa, H19 Vaccinium myrtillus – Cladonia arbuscula, H20 Vaccinium myrtillus – Racomitrium lanuginosum and H22 Vaccinium myrtillus – Rubus chamaemorus heaths) representative of the eastern Scottish Highlands. As in the Cairngorms these heaths, especially the Calluna – Cladonia and Vaccinium – Cladonia communities, have an abundance of lichens, especially the larger Cladonia species and other fruticose lichens. The range of heaths includes a good representation of types, including forms on extremely exposed ground and contrasting heaths of sheltered snow-beds. There are widespread gradations to extensive 4030 European dry heaths.
6230 Species-rich Nardus grasslands, on silicious substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas in Continental Europe) * Priority feature
Beinn a’Ghlo is an example of species-rich Nardus grasslands characteristic of the eastern Scottish Highlands. Beinn a’Ghlo has a large area of species-rich Nardus grassland, the second most extensive area in the site series, developed on schistose rocks and grades to 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) on limestone. Both CG10 Festuca ovina – Agrostis capillaris – Thymus praecox grassland and CG11 Festuca ovina – Agrostis capillaris – Alchemilla alpina grassland are well-represented throughout the altitudinal range of the habitat type on the site (300–750 m). The moderate altitude limits the range of arctic-alpines. There is a good representation of more widespread species, including the lady’s-mantle Alchemilla filicaulis, alpine bistort Persicaria vivipara, purple saxifrage Saxifraga oppositifolia, sibbaldia Sibbaldia procumbens, mountain pansy Viola lutea and hair sedge Carex capillaris. A few rarer arctic-alpines, such as yellow oxytropis Oxytropis campestris and alpine meadow-grass Poa alpina, are also present.
7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion) * Priority feature
Beinn a’Ghlo represents upland petrifying springs with tufa formations in Perthshire. Springs are associated with extensive exposures of metamorphosed limestone of the Dalradian series. Tufa-forming mounds are frequent and are found with other qualifying habitats (e.g. 7240 Alpine pioneer formations of Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae, 6230 species-rich Nardus grasslands, and 8240 Limestone pavements). At Fealar Gorge tufa formations are found with mountain avens Dryas octopetala within the highest upland birch woodland known in Britain.
7240 Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae * Priority feature
Beinn a’Ghlo is representative of flushes at moderate altitude in the eastern Highlands. Open flushes of M11 Carex demissa – Saxifraga aizoides mire are frequent, and species include yellow saxifrage Saxifraga aizoides, Scottish asphodel Tofieldia pusilla, three-flowered rush Juncus triglumis and alpine rush J. alpinoarticulatus. The site is of particular interest because of the transitions between alpine pioneer flushes and 7230 Alkaline fens at moderate altitudes.
Beinn a’Ghlo represents Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation in the eastern Highlands, with additional rare species. There are extensive outcrops of limestone in Glen Tilt, up to about 700 m altitude. The flora includes a large colony of the rare yellow oxytropis Oxytropis campestris, while other montane species include mountain avens Dryas octopetala, rock speedwell Veronica fruticans, rock sedge Carex rupestris, hoary whitlowgrass Draba incana, holly fern Polystichum lonchitis and green spleenwort Asplenium viride.
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
- Not Applicable
Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection
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