Gruinart Flats, Islay

Site overview: These flats are located on the Hebridean island of Islay on the west coast of Scotland. The main features are a sheltered estuarine and intertidal sea loch. The entire population of the Greenland race of barnacle goose arrives at the site in early autumn, before flying off in winter to other areas in Ireland and western Scotland.

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


55° 50' 55" North,
6° 19' 25" West

Surface Area

32.59 km2
(12.58 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


  • Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis [Eastern Greenland/Scotland/Ireland]) (Annex I (species))
  • Greenland white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris) (Annex I (species))
  • Light-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota [Canada/Ireland]) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) (Annex I (species))