North Caithness Cliffs

Site overview: This site is located on the north coast of Caithness in northern Scotland and comprises most of the sea-cliff areas between Red Point and Duncansby Head on the north mainland coast, and the western cliffs on the island of Stroma.Cliff ledges and stacks provide great nesting spots for important populations of seabirds, especially gulls and auks. During the breeding season, the area is home to 110,000 seabirds including puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars and guillemots. The seabirds nesting on the North Caithness Cliffs feed outside the site in the surrounding waters of the Pentland Firth, as well as further afield. The cliffs also provide important nesting habitat for Peregrine falcons.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union


58° 38' 22" North,
3° 21' 3" West

Surface Area

146.37 km2
(56.51 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Marine areas, Sea inlets


  • Razorbill (Alca torda) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)


  • Seabird assemblage


  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) (Annex I (species))