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Special Areas of Conservation

The Vadills

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Extra-Regio, Highlands and Islands
Centroid* HU339556
Latitude 60.28333333
Longitude -1.3875
SAC EU Code UK0017068
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 62.42
* 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 The Vadills SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (100%)

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

  • 1150 Coastal lagoons  * Priority feature

    The Vadills, at the head of Brindister Voe in Shetland, is an outstanding example of a complex lagoon system. The complex comprises a number of shallow basins and has examples of both lagoonal inlets and silled lagoons. This is an extremely sheltered, undisturbed and natural environment. There is a gradation of habitats within the system, from brackish to fully marine conditions, from still to fast-flowing water, and from soft, flocculent, peaty mud through coarse sediments including maerl Lithothamnion corallioides to bedrock and boulders. There is a correspondingly wide range of communities, with a high diversity of species. Such diversity is unusual, given the complex’s northern location and relatively small size. The site supports several unusual species and communities. These include the holothurians Leptopentacta elongata and Leptosynapta inhaerens, present in dense populations, areas of the free-living fucoid alga Ascophyllum nodosum ecad mackaii, for which this is the only known location in Shetland, and the brittlestar Ophiura affinis, which is unusual in such shallow water. There are small areas of extremely sheltered littoral sediment, which support filamentous green and brown algae, and several beds of beaked tasselweed Ruppia maritima. Marlee Loch supports a bed of eelgrass Zostera marina. Shallow rock supports sugar kelp Laminaria saccharina, whilst L. hyperborea and sea-oak Halidrys siliquosa occur in the channels, where tidal streams are faster.

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.