Skip to Content

Special Areas of Conservation

Rinns of Islay

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NR230611
Latitude 55.76388889
Longitude -6.416666667
SAC EU Code UK0030247
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 1085
* 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 Rinns of Islay SAC

General site character

  • Coastal sand dunes, Sand beaches, Machair (5%)
  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (5%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (5%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (5%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (55%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (20%)
  • Improved grassland (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

  • Not Applicable

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

  • 1065 Marsh fritillary butterfly Euphydryas (Eurodryas, Hypodryas) aurinia

    The Rinns of Islay supports a large, extensive metapopulation of marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia, the largest known in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. It is well-known as a high-quality area for the species, with records dating back over a number of years. Records for the species are patchy across the overall Rinns area and so the proposed site is made up of a complex of areas which are known to hold some core parts of the overall Rinns metapopulation (together with the neighbouring Glac na Criche cSAC) which persist even when the marsh fritillary is at a low stage in its population cycle. The population is of the Scottish form E. aurinia scotica, which is completely isolated from populations in England and Wales.

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.