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Special Areas of Conservation

Loch Watten

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* ND226562
Latitude 58.4875
Longitude -3.327777778
SAC EU Code UK0012983
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 428.33
* 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 Loch Watten SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (92%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (7.5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (0.5%)

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

  • Although not the largest eutrophic lake in Scotland (the largest being Loch Leven), this large loch is one of the least affected by nutrient enrichment in Scotland. It is the largest of a series of kettle hole lochs overlying the Old Red Sandstone of the Caithness plain in the north of Scotland. Loch Watten is representative of a northern or western natural eutrophic lake of glacial origin. The flora contains stonewort – pondweed – water-milfoil CharaceaePotamogetonMyriophyllum associations, with pondweeds well-represented, and is rich in northern species. The shoreline is fringed by reed canary-grass – shoreweed – spike-rush PhalarisLittorellaEleocharis associations.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

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

  • 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.