SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Lochs of Spiggie and Brow

image: SPA location map 


The Lochs of Spiggie and Brow are located at the south of the mainland of Shetland in northern Scotland. They are the largest 'machair type' lochs in Shetland. Loch of Spiggie was formed through the natural closure from the sea of a shallow voe (inlet) by a sand bar. Both lochs have slightly brackish conditions, and the sand and mud substrates are dominated by a range of stonewort (Characeae) species and aquatic mosses. The lochs are of importance as both a migratory staging area and wintering site for Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus. As well as feeding on the lochs, the swans also feed away from the SPA on surrounding agricultural land. 


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:
Over winter;
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 143 individuals representing up to 2.6% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)



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.