Trotternish Ridge

Site details

UK map showing location of Trotternish Ridge Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Trotternish Ridge SAC/SCI/cSAC


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

6230 Species-rich Nardus grasslands, on silicious substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas in Continental Europe)  * Priority feature
Trotternish Ridge is one of five sites on the oceanic west coast of Scotland representing species-rich Nardus grasslands. It is the most northerly site and is more upland in character than the other sites selected. Trotternish Ridge has the most extensive tracts of species-rich Nardus grasslands in the UK. These occur along the length of an extensive basalt escarpment. Both CG10 Festuca ovinaAgrostis capillarisThymus praecox grassland and CG11 Festuca ovinaAgrostis capillarisAlchemilla alpina grassland are well-represented, mainly occurring as drier forms on well-drained slopes. Overall the grasslands are rich in both vascular plants and bryophytes, though heavy grazing on the slopes may be limiting species-richness. The flora is enriched by arctic-alpines, including sibbaldia Sibbaldia procumbens, the lady’s-mantle Alchemilla wichurae, mossy saxifrage Saxifraga hypnoides and cyphel Minuartia sedoides. The grasslands are notable for their bryophyte flora, which includes Atlantic species such as Scapania gracilis, Racomitrium ellipticum, Breutelia chrysocoma and Plagiochila spinulosa, occurring with calcicole mosses such as Aulacomnium turgidum and Schistidium apocarpum.
8120 Calcareous and calcshist screes of the montane to alpine levels (Thlaspietea rotundifolii)
Trotternish Ridge is representative of mildly calcareous and calcshist screes at moderately high altitude in the oceanic west of Scotland. Although there is a mixture of scree types on the site, the calcareous screes are relatively restricted in extent. However, the mildly calcareous screes that are present have a rich flora, including northern rock-cress Arabis petraea, mountain sorrel Oxyria digyna, moss campion Silene acaulis, alpine lady’s-mantle Alchemilla alpina, stone bramble Rubus saxatilis, lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides, the oceanic mosses Campylopus setifolius, Ulota phyllantha and Racomitrium ellipticum, and liverworts Plagiochila carringtonii and Lepidozia pearsonii. There is a rich fern flora, including green spleenwort Asplenium viride, scaly male-fern Dryopteris affinis and holly-fern Polystichum lonchitis. Flushed scree and the similar stony fell-field are habitats for the rare Iceland-purslane Koenigia islandica, growing with spiked wood-rush Luzula spicata and the montane liverwort Anthelia juratzkana.
8210 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation
Trotternish is representative of Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation in north-west Scotland. There are extensive basalt cliffs, on which calcareous outcrops occur locally at moderately high altitude, higher than on the comparable site, Strath. These outcrops support characteristic crevice-dwelling plants. Of particular interest are the ferns green spleenwort Asplenium viride, brittle bladder-fern Cystopteris fragilis and holly-fern Polystichum lonchitis, and various calcicolous mosses. There is a moderately rich flora of arctic-alpine calcicoles, including glaucous meadow-grass Poa glauca, alpine meadow-grass Poa alpina, hoary whitlowgrass Draba incana and alpine saxifrage Saxifraga nivalis. The oceanic bryophyte flora associated with this habitat type is thought to be among the richest in the SAC series and includes the liverworts Colura calyptrifolia, Harpalejeunea ovata, Herbertus stramineus and Plagiochila spinulosa.

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

4030 European dry heaths
6150 Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands
6170 Alpine and subalpine calcareous grasslands
6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels
7240 Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae  * Priority feature

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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