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Special Areas of Conservation

Sullom Voe

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* HU380757
Latitude 60.46388889
Longitude -1.309722222
SAC EU Code UK0030273
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 2691.43
* 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 Sullom Voe SAC

General site character

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets (99%)
  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins) (1%)

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

  • Sullom Voe in the Shetland Isles is the most northerly site in the UK to be selected as a representative of large shallow inlets and bays, and within the site series it is the only Scottish example of a ria (known locally as a ‘voe’). The boreal-arctic (northern) species-rich communities of Sullom Voe are restricted to Shetland voes and are not represented elsewhere in the SAC series. The intertidal sediments, confined to lagoons near the mouth of the voe, are colonised by a diverse faunal community including bivalves, polychaetes and the sea cucumber Leptosynapta inhaerens. Poorly-mixed, muddy sediments which characterise the sublittoral are colonised by horse mussels, sea-pens Virgularia sp. and diverse burrowing communities. A range of bivalves, polychaetes and amphipods can also be found in the organically enriched shell-sand, gravel and muddy-sand sediments.

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.