South Uist Machair & Lochs
Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance
United Kingdom: Not Reported
A complex site that includes inland, marine and coastal wetlands on the west coast of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, with outstanding examples of relict woodland, moorland, blanket bog, freshwater marsh, salt marsh, coastal dunes, and sandy rock shores. Part of the largest "machair" (sandy coastal plain) system in the British Isles. Coastal dunes with dune slacks grade into the machair plain consisting of shallow, nutrient-rich lochs, associated fens and marshes. The site is important for wintering and breeding waterfowl such as Anser anser (4.8% of the breeding population) and Charadrius hiaticula (2.5% of the breeding population). The machair is used for traditional rotational cultivation and grazing, as well as for nature conservation, tourism, and recreation.
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! This site is also designated as a National Scenic Area