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Special Areas of Conservation

Culbin Bar

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NH940613
Latitude 57.6292
Longitude -3.775
SAC EU Code UK0019807
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 580.99
* 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 Culbin Bar SAC

General site character

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (40%)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes (25%)
  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (10%)
  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (20%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (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

  • Historically, Culbin Bar in north-east Scotland formed part of the same shingle aggregation as Lower River Spey – Spey Bay to the east. Although sea-level rise has separated the sites, they are still linked, being maintained by the same coastal processes. Culbin Bar and the Lower River Spey – Spey Bay are, individually, the two largest shingle sites in Scotland and together form a shingle complex unique in Scotland. They represent Perennial vegetation of stony banks in the northern part of its range in UK. Culbin Bar is 7 km long. It has a series of shingle ridges running parallel to the coast that support the best and richest examples of northern heath on shingle. Dominant species are heather Calluna vulgaris, crowberry Empetrum nigrum and juniper Juniperus communis. The natural westward movement of the bar deposits new ridges for colonisation. Being virtually unaffected by damaging human activities, Culbin Bar is an example of a system with natural structure and function.

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.