Lower River Spey - Spey Bay

Site details

UK map showing location of Lower River Spey - Spey Bay Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Lower River Spey - Spey Bay SAC/SCI/cSAC
 

Note:

When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

1220 Perennial vegetation of stony banks
Historically, Lower River Spey Spey Bay in north-east Scotland formed part of the same shingle aggregation as Culbin Bar to the west. Although sea-level rise has separated the sites, they are still linked, being maintained by the same coastal processes. Lower River Spey Spey Bay and Culbin Bar are, individually, the two largest shingle sites in Scotland and together form a shingle complex unique in Scotland. They represent this habitat type in the northern part of its range in the UK. Lower River Spey Spey Bay contains significant areas of both bare and naturally vegetated parallel shingle ridges, although some of these have been planted with trees. The most significant feature of the site is the complex of wet and dry vegetation types, depending on the physical relief of the shingle ridges and hollows. Species-rich dry heath and grassland occurs on the ridges, while in the wetter hollows there is species-rich wet heath and transitions to a vegetation type comparable to that of dune slacks. Large areas of scrub, mainly of gorse Ulex europaeus, also occur.
91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)  * Priority feature
The Lower River Spey in north-east Scotland is unique within Britain in comprising an extensively braided channel along the whole length of the river. The active river channel provides a mosaic of substrates, and in more stable, damper situations large stands of valley alder Alnus glutinosa woods occur, along with willows Salix spp., ash Fraxinus excelsior and bird cherry Prunus padus. The ground flora includes both southern and northern elements such as wood speedwell Veronica montana and wood stichwort Stellaria nemorum.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

Not applicable.

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Not applicable.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

Not applicable.


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