SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Lewis Peatlands

image: SPA location map 

 

The Lewis Peatlands are located on the island of Lewis, the northernmost of the main islands of the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast of Scotland. They comprise an extensive area of deep blanket bog, interspersed with bog pool complexes and freshwater lochs, covering the main part of Lewis. Grazed, poor-quality grassland also occurs, with Heather Calluna vulgaris dominant on the coast. In the south, the continuous blanket bog becomes increasingly fragmented by rocky outcrops and larger lochs. Overall, the continuous and largely unfragmented extent of the peatland is a striking feature of the area, similar to the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland that were extensively damaged by coniferous afforestation in the 1980s. The peatlands are of importance for a range of characteristic peatland breeding birds, especially waders, divers and raptors. 

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


 

The Lewis Peatlands are located on the island of Lewis, the northernmost of the main islands of the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast of Scotland. They comprise an extensive area of deep blanket bog, interspersed with bog pool complexes and freshwater lochs, covering the main part of Lewis. Grazed, poor-quality grassland also occurs, with Heather Calluna vulgaris dominant on the coast. In the south, the continuous blanket bog becomes increasingly fragmented by rocky outcrops and larger lochs. Overall, the continuous and largely unfragmented extent of the peatland is a striking feature of the area, similar to the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland that were extensively damaged by coniferous afforestation in the 1980s. The peatlands are of importance for a range of characteristic peatland breeding birds, especially waders, divers and raptors. 

This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica, 11 pairs representing at least 6.9% of the breeding population in Great Britain (1994 National survey)
 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, 6 pairs representing at least 1.5% of the breeding population in Great Britain (1992 National survey)
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 1,978 pairs representing at least 8.8% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at mid-1990s)
 
Merlin Falco columbarius, 20 pairs representing at least 1.5% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at mid-1990s)
 
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata, 60 pairs representing at least 6.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at mid-1990s)
 
 
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii, 3,650 pairs representing at least 33.2% of the breeding Baltic/UK/Ireland population (Count, as at mid 1990s)
 
Greenshank Tringa nebularia, 152 pairs representing at least 0.3% of the breeding Europe/Western Africa population (Count, as at 1998)

 


Note:

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