Sligachan Peatlands

Site details

UK map showing location of Sligachan Peatlands Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Sligachan Peatlands 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

3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
Sligachan Peatlands on the Island of Skye occupies parts of low-lying valleys near the head of Loch Sligachan and contains many standing waters of dystrophic character. The dystrophic pools and lochans sit in a complex terrain of slopes, ridges, knolls and hollows that support blanket bog and oceanic mires. The dystrophic waters vary in shape from rounded to linear lochans but are predominantly complex, interconnected systems. They support a typically impoverished plant flora which includes such species as bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata, bladderworts Utricularia spp. and bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. The lochans also support pipewort Eriocaulon aquaticum, often in abundant populations, and the site is thought to represent the British stronghold for this rare species.
7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature
Sligachan is one of two sites on Skye representing two unusual and distinct mire types. Sligachan displays an enormous variety of blanket bog features. The southern half of the site consists of a series of valleyside flows interspersed with flushed blanket mire communities. The high base-status of the water means that the blanket bog vegetation of this southern part is extremely rich, containing species such as black bog-rush Schoenus nigricans and broad-leaved cottongrass Eriophorum latifolium and brown mosses such as Drepanocladus spp. The northern part of the site is a broad valley forming a mire complex with extensive areas of pool patterning of a linear type. Slightly more broken ground is largely infilled with accumulated peat and has several unusual peat structures, such as dams of peat over 2†m high that hold back large pools containing pipewort Eriocaulon aquaticum, small examples of ladder fens and oddly-shaped pool patterns.

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 IsoŽto-Nanojuncetea
4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix
7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs
7150 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

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.

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.