North Uist Machair and Islands SPA
This site is in the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast of Scotland. It is a coastal site made up of rocky shore, sandy beaches and dunes, and saltmarsh. This area is home to breeding waders as well as Corncrakes. During periods of migration and in winter, the site holds important numbers of waders on the rocky and sandy shorelines, together with wintering Greenland barnacle geese.
MPA TypeSpecial Protection Area
Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.
Designation date1 March 1999
Surface Area48.65 km2 (18.78 mi.2)
Perimeter144.08 km (89.53 mi.)
Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)
A medium sized goose not seen in summer in the UK. Because it only appeared in winter, people in the Middle Ages believed the geese were developing underwater and hatched from barnacles - hence the name.
Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
A small shore bird whose name refers to its habit of creeping and fluttering over rocks, picking out food from under stones.
Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
A small, dumpy, short-legged wading bird that breed on beaches around the coast.
Did you know?…
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed
Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas
The future of fisheries is being decided
The UK government has opened a public consultation asking how we think they should manage our fisheries after Brexit through a new Fisheries Bill.Act now!