SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Ben Wyvis



Ben Wyvis is located about 25 km north-west of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. It is the highest hill in this area (1,046 m) and consists of Moine peltic gneiss in a long south-west to north-east ridge. There are spurs branching off the south-east face that enclose two deep, massive corries, while the extensive, broad summit comprises a substantial area above 760 m. This is dominated by a distinctive upland Racomitrium lanuginosum-Carex bigelowii heath, which is particularly characteristic of this mountain. Where snow lies for longer, there are patches of bryophyte-rich snow bed communities, while on the upper slopes springs and flushes intersect dwarf-shrub heath with mire communities developed on the wettest areas. On the lower slopes, blanket bog with Dwarf Birch Betula nana and Alpine Bearberry Arctostaphylos alpinus are found, and on the south side of Loch Glass there is a substantial upland Birch Betula pendula,woodland. The vegetation overall has a character midway between the continental Cairngorm massif to the south-east and the oceanic mountains of the western Highlands. Breeding montane birds are associated particularly with the high plateaux and upper slopes of the massif, but also feed in nearby flushed and damp ground. 


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;
Dotterel Charadrius morinellus, 20 pairs representing at least 2.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (7 year mean, 1987-1993)



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