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Special Areas of Conservation

Ladder Hills

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands, North Eastern Scotland
Centroid* NJ246147
Latitude 57.21666667
Longitude -3.248611111
SAC EU Code UK0030179
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 4353.61
* 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 Ladder Hills SAC

General site character

  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (30%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (68%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (2%)

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

  • Ladder Hills represents Alpine and Boreal heath on the eastern fringes of the Scottish Highlands. Three of the major eastern alpine heath types are well-represented on the summits and high slopes. H13 Calluna vulgarisCladonia arbuscula and H19 Vaccinium myrtillusCladonia arbuscula heaths occur on exposed ground with an abundance of lichens typical of the east that rivals similar habitat on the Cairngorms. The reindeer lichens Cladonia rangiferina, C. portentosa, C. arbuscula and C. uncialis are all abundant, and Alectoria sarmentosa, a rare lichen, is also present. H22 Vaccinium myrtillusRubus chamaemorus heath, with chickweed wintergreen Trientalis europaea, dwarf cornel Cornus suecica, bog bilberry Vaccinium uliginosum and cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus, occurs in hollows as a characteristic snow-bed community.

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

    Lying to the north-east of the Cairngorms, Ladder Hills is perhaps the most continental site in terms of the nature of its blanket bog. This extensive area of high-altitude bog is dominated by the M19 Calluna vulgarisEriophorum vaginatum blanket mire community with abundant Cladonia lichens. The upland nature of the site is also apparent from the abundance of cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus. Small cranberry Vaccinium microcarpum is also present.

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.