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Special Areas of Conservation

Beinn Bhan

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NG797446
Latitude 57.43888889
Longitude -5.668333333
SAC EU Code UK0030343
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 4171.19
* 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 Beinn Bhan SAC

General site character

  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (2%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (6%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (57%)
  • Alpine and sub-Alpine grassland (10%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (25%)

Download the Standard Data Form for this site (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

  • The main NVC types representing European dry heaths at Beinn Bhan are H10 Calluna vulgaris–Erica cinerea and H21 Calluna vulgaris–Vaccinium myrtillus–Sphagnum capillifolium, both typically extensive in the north west Highlands. Unusually, a variant with bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, occurs locally. Beinn Bhan also supports well-developed examples of the northern Atlantic hepatic mat within the Mastigophora woodsii–Herbertus aduncus ssp. hutchinsiae sub-community of Calluna–Vaccinium–Sphagnum heath (H21b). This liverwort-rich sub-community contains many Atlantic bryophyte species and is particularly extensive at Beinn Bhan.

  • Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities are represented at Beinn Bhan by what is believed to be the largest single stand in the UK of the tall herb community corresponding to NVC type U17 Luzula sylvatica–Geum rivale. This habitat is developed where there is seepage through the soil on a large ledge on the Torridonian sandstone cliffs in Coire na Poite. The ledge is relatively inaccessible and therefore ungrazed. The main species present are wild angelica Angelica sylvestris, marsh marigold Caltha palustris, marsh hawk’s-beard Crepis paludosa, meadow buttercup Ranunculus acris, water avens Geum rivale, meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria, globeflower Trollius europaeus and common valerian Valeriana officinalis, representing a wetter type than is usual for this community. One of the more notable species of the community represented is the scarce alpine saw-wort Saussurea alpina, which is characteristic of high-altitude stands in the Highlands.

  • The siliceous scree habitat at Beinn Bhan is relatively extensive and comprises areas of both scree and block scree, consisting of the highly siliceous Torridonian sandstone. The variation in the size of rock fragments tends to be reflected in the ecological diversity of the scree habitat. The block screes have an outstanding flora of Atlantic bryophytes, including examples of the Northern Atlantic hepatic mat. The screes are notable for the frequency of parsley fern Cryptogramma crispa, constituting a northerly outpost of the NVC type U21 Cryptogramma crispa–Deschampsia flexuosa community.

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.