SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm)

image: SPA location map 


Papa Westray is a small island lying close to Westray in the northern Orkney islands in Scotland. The island rises to 48 m above sea level at North Hill and is surrounded by a rocky coastline backing onto maritime sedge heath. Halophytic communities of plants typify the grassland immediately above the shore, grading inland to maritime sedge heath with a few small pools. The site supports a wide variety of plants, including the nationally scarce Scottish Primrose Primula scotica. The Holm is a small, low-lying island of 48 ha off the east coast of Papa Westray dominated by a rocky coastline and maritime grassland. The islands are an important breeding site for both Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea and Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus. The terns feed outside the SPA in the waters surrounding the islands. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section

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;
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, 1,950 pairs representing at least 4.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1997)
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;
Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus, 135 pairs representing at least 0.4% of the breeding North Atlantic population (Seabird Census Register)



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