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?…
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’