Site overview: This is one of the most southerly of the major islands of the Orkney archipelago in northern Scotland. The site covers the northern and western two-thirds of the island. The cliffs here provide important breeding sites for a number of seabird species, especially gulls and auks, whilst moorland areas support large numbers of breeding birds, in particular great skuas. Red-throated Divers nest here too.

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° 51' 34" North,
3° 20' 29" West

Surface Area

181.43 km2
(70.05 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Marine areas, Sea inlets


  • Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)


  • Seabird assemblage


  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Great skua (Stercorarius skua) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) (Annex I (species))
  • Red-throated diver (Gavia stellata) (Annex I (species))
  • Arctic skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)