North Uist Machair and Islands

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North Uist Machair and Islands

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    4,705 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    57°38'N 07°20'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


North Uist Machair and Islands. 22/07/99, significantly extended 03/11/00; Scotland; 4705 ha; 57°32'N 007°23'W. Special Protection Area EC Directive, SSSI. The site comprises a "machair" areas (grassland upon sand, commonly behind coastal sand dunes in northwestern Scotland) which show a range of habitats from intertidal sand and rock through sand dunes and dune slacks to a calcareous coastal plain and acid grassland. The site contains freshwater wetlands, including nutrient-rich and average nutrient machair loch, important freshwater marshes and fens, wet and dry machair and saltmarsh. The area supports a rich and diverse range of plant communities, including some nationally scarce plants and mosses, and qualifies under Criterion 6 by supporting internationally important numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover during the breeding season and Barnacle Goose, Ringed Plover, and Turnstone during the winter. The extended designation now includes four sites on the west and north coasts of North Uist and all or part of three islands in the Sound of Harris south of Lewis and Harris. The RSPB maintains a small visitors' centre and guided walks at the Balranald Bog part of the site. The spread of the invasive American mink is considered to be a potential threat and measures are being taken. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, and permanent pastoral agriculture. Ramsar site no. 1004. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • sssi
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)