SPA description
(information as published 2001)

River Spey – Insh Marshes

image: SPA location map 

 

The Insh Marshes lie either side of the River Spey upstream of Loch Insh in the central Highlands of Scotland. They are over 5 km long and over 1 km wide. Partly due to seasonal flooding, there is a very large area of swamp, fen and carr which together form the largest single unit of poor fen floodplain mire in the UK. It is also one of the most natural systems of its type left in Britain. The SPA lies within the flat valley floor of the River Spey between Newtonmore and Kingussie and includes Loch Insh. It is of importance for a diverse assemblage of waterbirds and raptors in summer (including nesting Osprey Pandion haliaetus), as well as for Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus in winter. 

 


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;
 
Osprey Pandion haliaetus, 4 pairs representing at least 4.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at early 1990's)
 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, 3 individuals representing at least 6.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1990-1995)
 
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, 2 pairs representing at least 20.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1990-1995)
 
Over winter;
 
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 11 individuals representing at least 1.5% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1990/1-1994/5)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 190 individuals representing at least 3.5% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2-1995/6)
 
 
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;
 
Wigeon Anas penelope, 37 pairs representing <0.1% of the breeding Western Siberia/Northwestern/Northeastern Europe population (Mid 1990s)

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.