Beinn Bhan

Site details

UK map showing location of Beinn Bhan Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Beinn Bhan 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

4030 European dry heaths
The main NVC types representing European dry heaths at Beinn Bhan are H10 Calluna vulgaris–Erica cinerea and H21 Calluna vulgaris–Vaccinium myrtillus–Sphagnum capillifolium, both typically extensive in the north west Highlands. Unusually, a variant with bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, occurs locally. Beinn Bhan also supports well-developed examples of the northern Atlantic hepatic mat within the Mastigophora woodsii–Herbertus aduncus ssp. hutchinsiae sub-community of Calluna–Vaccinium–Sphagnum heath (H21b). This liverwort-rich sub-community contains many Atlantic bryophyte species and is particularly extensive at Beinn Bhan.
6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels
Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities are represented at Beinn Bhan by what is believed to be the largest single stand in the UK of the tall herb community corresponding to NVC type U17 Luzula sylvatica–Geum rivale. This habitat is developed where there is seepage through the soil on a large ledge on the Torridonian sandstone cliffs in Coire na Poite. The ledge is relatively inaccessible and therefore ungrazed. The main species present are wild angelica Angelica sylvestris, marsh marigold Caltha palustris, marsh hawk’s-beard Crepis paludosa, meadow buttercup Ranunculus acris, water avens Geum rivale, meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria, globeflower Trollius europaeus and common valerian Valeriana officinalis, representing a wetter type than is usual for this community. One of the more notable species of the community represented is the scarce alpine saw-wort Saussurea alpina, which is characteristic of high-altitude stands in the Highlands.
8110 Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)
The siliceous scree habitat at Beinn Bhan is relatively extensive and comprises areas of both scree and block scree, consisting of the highly siliceous Torridonian sandstone. The variation in the size of rock fragments tends to be reflected in the ecological diversity of the scree habitat. The block screes have an outstanding flora of Atlantic bryophytes, including examples of the Northern Atlantic hepatic mat. The screes are notable for the frequency of parsley fern Cryptogramma crispa, constituting a northerly outpost of the NVC type U21 Cryptogramma crispa–Deschampsia flexuosa community.

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

4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix
4060 Alpine and Boreal heaths
6150 Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands
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

Not applicable.

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