Skip to Content

Special Areas of Conservation

The Maim

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country Scotland
Unitary Authority North Eastern Scotland
Centroid* NO268977
Latitude 57.06666667
Longitude -3.208333333
SAC EU Code UK0030348
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 484.37
* 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 The Maim SAC

General site character

  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (1%)
  • Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (98%)
  • Other land (including Towns, Villages, Roads, Waste places, Mines, Industrial sites) (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

  • The Maim supports an excellent, representative example of NVC community H16 Calluna vulgaris–Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. This is one of the eight heathland NVC types that together represent the European dry heaths Annex I habitat in Scotland. The H16 community is a characteristic heath type of north-east Scotland and The Maim, on Deeside, is representative of a local stronghold in south Grampian.

    The H16 heath at The Maim is developed on freely-drained soils, apparently derived from granite with obscure outcrops of basic rocks, within an altitudinal range of 430-570 metres. It occurs mainly, but not exclusively, on steep west-facing slopes, and forms one of the largest extents of H16 heath at a single location in Scotland. In addition, H16 heath often occurs in small, scattered fragments, but at The Maim it occurs in a more or less contiguous area. Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is typically abundant but only locally rivals heather Calluna vulgaris, which is the dominant species. Bell heather Erica cinerea, cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea, and wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa are all very widespread within the area. Intermediate wintergreen Pyrola media is also quite scattered and locally frequent in the more species-rich areas. Other species represented include bitter vetch Lathyrus linifolius, slender St John’s wort Hypericum pulchrum, alpine lady’s-mantle Alchemilla alpina, common bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus and wood anemone Anemone nemorosa. Serrated wintergreen Orthilia secunda also occurs. The most widespread species indicative of base-enrichment are thyme Thymus polytrichus and flea sedge Carex pulicaris. In some grassy patches within the species-rich area along the road these calcicoles are very locally accompanied by quaking grass Briza media and alpine cinquefoil Potentilla crantzii. The heath also supports five species of clubmoss, including the rare interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum, and the very rare Diphasiastrum complanatum ssp. issleri. Cladonia lichens are well represented, particularly the bushy species of the Annex V subgenus Cladina at higher altitudes in transitions to subalpine heath, also marked by the occurrence of Cetraria islandica.

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

  • 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.