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Special Areas of Conservation

Onich to North Ballachulish Woods

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority Highlands and Islands
Centroid* NN042619
Latitude 56.71222222
Longitude -5.185
SAC EU Code UK0030344
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 618.49
* 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 Onich to North Ballachulish Woods SAC

General site character

  • Shingle, Sea cliffs, Islets (0.1%)
  • Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (0.1%)
  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (13.5%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (46%)
  • Improved grassland (0.1%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (40%)
  • Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (0.1%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (0.1%)

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

  • Onich to North Ballachulish Woods extends from sea level to over 400 metres above sea level and incorporates woodland on north-, south- and west-facing slopes on a variety of different rock types. The site’s varying physical features have resulted in the development of a diverse mixture of vegetation types. Old sessile oak woods are best-developed on the lower parts of the south-facing slopes. The woods are very variable in species composition, with four oak–birchQuercus–Betula NVC woodland types represented. The woods comprise a mix of downy birch Betula pubescens, rowan Sorbus aucuparia, sessile oak Quercus petraea, hazel Corylus avellana, holly Ilex aquifolium and ash Fraxinus excelsior in differing proportions. The ground flora is equally variable, ranging from predominantly grassy, with sweet vernal-grass Anthoxanthum odoratum and wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa particularly abundant, to heathy, dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, or mossy, with species such as Dicranum majus, Rhytidiadelphus loreus and Hylocomium splendens forming deep mats. The woods also support a well-developed epiphytic Lobarion lichen flora and a rich assemblage of bryophytes, including a particularly good representation of both oceanic and calcicolous species. Some of the bryophytes, such as Bazzania trilobata, Plagiochila killarniensis and Ptilium crista-castrensis are nationally uncommon. Natural regeneration and expansion of the habitat is occurring around the wood’s current margins. There are transitions to the Annex I habitat H9180 Tilio-acerion forests on slopes, screes and ravines, and also from woodland to heath and mire habitats. The mammalian fauna includes pine marten Martes martes, red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris and badger Meles meles.

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.