Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet

Site overview: This site is located in north-eastern Scotland and is one of the best examples in northwest Europe of a large complex estuary which has been relatively unaffected by industrial development. Extensive sand-flats and mud-flats are backed by saltmarsh and sand dunes. The tidal flats support internationally important numbers of waterbirds on migration and in winter, such as the greylag goose, and is an important feeding area for 10 pairs of osprey.

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


57° 51' 42" North,
4° 1' 58" West

Surface Area

78.60 km2
(30.35 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes


  • Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Greylag goose (Anser anser [Iceland/UK/Ireland]) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) (Annex I (species))
  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) (Annex I (species))


  • Waterfowl assemblage