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Special Areas of Conservation

Oldshoremore and Sandwood

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NC193591
Latitude 58.48333333
Longitude -5.1
SAC EU Code UK0013055
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 446.2
* 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 Oldshoremore and Sandwood SAC

General site character

  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (87%)
  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (2%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (5%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (1%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (3%)
  • Alpine and sub-Alpine grassland (2%)

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

  • The sands of the three small bay dune systems at Oldshoremore and its neighbouring beaches are calcareous, forming 21A0 Machair, in contrast to the acid sands of Sandwood. The three small systems display a range of dune types, principally fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation and 2120 Shifting dunes along the shoreline, with notable species-rich climbing machair at Oldshoremore and Oldshorebeg. Sandwood is very exposed and has a good sand supply, and the margins of the site have unusual climbing dunes with mountain avens Dryas octopetala. All the systems at this site are rich in bryophytes.

  • Oldshoremore and Sandwood complex is one of the largest and least-disturbed examples of machair on mainland Scotland. It is perhaps the most species-rich in the SAC series for the habitat type. The areas of machair grassland within the site are uncultivated and, mostly, grazed. They represent floristic communities not found on any other machair, for example mountain avens Dryas octopetala heath. Mainland plant communities tend to be more varied than those on the islands and the machair flora of this area is particularly species-rich.

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

  • 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.