National Nature Reserve, SSSI, Special Protection Area EC Directive. The Dornoch Firth is a large complex estuary which has been relatively unaffected by industrial development, whilst Loch Fleet is an example of a shallow, bar-built estuary. Extensive sandflats and mudflats are backed by saltmarsh and sand dunes with transitions to alder Alnus glutinosa woodland. It supports nationally scarce aquatic plants and British Red Data Book invertebrates. Over the winter it provides habitat for Anser anser (1.1% of the population), Anas penelope (1.2% of the population), and Limosa lapponica (1.1% of the population). Human activities include tourism, forestry, fishing, grazing, and hunting.
This site is currently under consideration for inclusion in the new UK MPA network. Having marine components does not automatically qualify a site to be part of the new MPA network. As such, the marine components of this site, as well as the management efforts, are being evaluated. Check out our MPApedia page on the UK for more information!