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Special Areas of Conservation

Merrick Kells

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority South Western Scotland
Centroid* NX441848
Latitude 55.13333333
Longitude -4.445833333
SAC EU Code UK0019841
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 8730.25
* 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 Merrick Kells SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (2%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (40%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (33%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (15%)
  • Alpine and sub-Alpine grassland (10%)

Download the 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

  • Merrick Kells in south-west Scotland is representative of the typical western upland forms of M15 Scirpus cespitosusErica tetralix wet heath, including forms rich in deergrass Trichophorum cespitosum and those with purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea. This is the most extensive representation of wet heath in the UK on an upland site south of the Scottish Highlands.

  • Merrick Kells holds the best developed areas of Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. This is the largest area of the habitat type south of the Highlands within the SAC series. Species-poor U10 Carex bigelowiiRacomitrium lanuginosum moss-heath is the main sub-type and is well-developed, with a high cover of woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum. The accompanying U7 Nardus strictaCarex bigelowii grass-heath is one of the best representations south of the Highlands in terms of vegetation structure and floristics, although small in area. This occurrence of the habitat type is comparable with southern outliers on the hills of England and Wales.

  • 7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature

    Merrick Kells is the most southerly of the characteristic oceanic Blanket bogs in the west of Scotland. It has an exceptionally wet climate, reflected in the range of pool patterns, from watershed mire to valleyside flow, and in the vegetation. There is a relatively high cover of bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., particularly S. papillosum, but S. magellanicum is also abundant and the site is noted for its frequent sward of S. pulchrum. Bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia occurs infrequently.

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

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.