Skip to Content

Special Areas of Conservation

River Thurso

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* ND142490
Latitude 58.42222222
Longitude -3.466666667
SAC EU Code UK0030264
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 348.25
* 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 River Thurso SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (87%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (3%)
  • Dry grassland, Steppes (6%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (1%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (3%)

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

  • 1106 Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

    The River Thurso drains a moderately large peatland catchment in Caithness and flows north through a short section of agricultural land before entering the Pentland Firth at the town of Thurso. The river supports a higher proportion of multi sea-winter salmon Salmo salar than is found in many rivers further south in the species’ range. This is aided by the northerly location of the river and the cooler ambient water temperature, resulting in slower-growing juveniles which smolt at an older age, and tend to return as older multi sea-winter salmon. In addition to these multi sea-winter fish, grilse also return to the River Thurso, meaning that the river supports the full range of salmon life-history types.

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.