SPA description
(information as published 2001)

North Uist Machair and Islands

image: SPA location map 


North Uist Machair and Islands SPA is located in the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast of Scotland. It is a coastal site encompassing areas of rocky shore, sandy beaches and dunes, cultivated machair, saltmarsh, calcareous coastal plains and acid grassland. There are also important freshwater wetlands including eutrophic machair lochs, marshes and fens, and wet machair. These areas are important for both large numbers and high densities of breeding waders as well as Corncrake Crex crex. The Tigharry section is included specifically for Corncrake. In migration periods and during winter, the site holds important numbers of waders on the rocky and sandy shorelines, together with wintering Greenland Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis.


For more information see Phased, extended and subsumed SPAs 

Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section

This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
During the breeding season;
Corncrake Crex crex, 25 individuals representing at least 5.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (1993-1997)
Over winter;
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, 1,500 individuals representing at least 5.6% of the wintering population in Great Britain
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
During the breeding season;
Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii, 260 pairs representing at least 2.4% of the breeding Baltic/UK/Ireland population (1994/5)
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, 630 pairs representing at least 0.2% of the breeding Europe & Northern/Western Africa population (1993-1997)
Redshank Tringa totanus, 470 pairs representing at least 0.8% of the breeding Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (1994/95)
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 240 pairs representing at least 1.5% of the breeding Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population (3 year mean, 1993-1995)
Over winter;
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, 370 individuals representing at least 0.7% of the wintering Eastern Atlantic - wintering population (1994/95)
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 590 individuals representing at least 1.2% of the wintering Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population
Turnstone Arenaria interpres, 670 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the wintering Western Palearctic - wintering population


Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.