Dornoch Firth and Morrich More

Site overview: This site contains one of the largest estuaries in the UK. The estuary is fed by the Kyle of Sutherland and is virtually unaffected by industrial development. The site contains both the river and the sea that it feeds into, and so there is both salty and fresh water here - along with creatures that like these conditions. The mudflats provide a perfect home for burrowing worms and eelgrass grows on the muddy bed. Harbour seals and the European otter call this area home. Seals can be seen ‘hauling’ out of the sea onto the shores of the estuary.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Area of Conservation
MPA Purpose
areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive


57° 50' 47" North,
4° 4' 15" West

Surface Area

87.11 km2
(33.63 mi.2 )


105.73 km
(65.70 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Atlantic salt meadows (Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae))
  • Estuaries
  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)
  • Reefs


  • Common seal (Phoca vitulina)


  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)
  • Glasswort and other annuals colonising mud and sand (Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand)


  • Otter (Lutra lutra)