Merrick Kells

Site details

UK map showing location of Merrick Kells Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Merrick Kells 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

4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix
Merrick Kells in south-west Scotland is representative of the typical western upland forms of M15 Scirpus cespitosus Erica tetralix wet heath, including forms rich in deergrass Trichophorum cespitosum and those with purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea. This is the most extensive representation of wet heath in the UK on an upland site south of the Scottish Highlands.
6150 Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands
Merrick Kells holds the best developed areas of Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. This is the largest area of the habitat type south of the Highlands within the SAC series. Species-poor U10Carex bigelowii Racomitrium lanuginosum moss-heath is the main sub-type and is well-developed, with a high cover of woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum. The accompanying U7Nardus stricta Carex bigelowii grass-heath is one of the best representations south of the Highlands in terms of vegetation structure and floristics, although small in area. This occurrence of the habitat type is comparable with southern outliers on the hills of England and Wales.
7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature
Merrick Kells is the most southerly of the characteristic oceanic Blanket bogs in the west of Scotland. It has an exceptionally wet climate, reflected in the range of pool patterns, from watershed mire to valleyside flow, and in the vegetation. There is a relatively high cover of bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., particularly S. papillosum, but S. magellanicum is also abundant and the site is noted for its frequent sward of S. pulchrum. Bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia occurs infrequently.

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

3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoto-Nanojuncetea
3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
4030 European dry heaths
7150 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion
8110 Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)
8220 Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation

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

1355 Otter  Lutra lutra

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