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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United Kingdom


  General Description   Situated on the Isle of South Uist west off the Scottish coast, Loch Druidibeg Biosphere Reserve exhibits a cross-section of habitats from alkaline machair grassland through oligotrophic loch to acidic moorland. This highly diverse range of habitats is variously influenced by the oceanic exposure with high levels of salt spray and humidity, and the influence of settled agriculture on which the species-rich machair grassland depends. Loch Druidibeg is managed for strict conservation purposes, however traditional cultivation and cattle grazing practices are encouraged as an integral part of management for biodiversity. Numerous cooperative projects between conservation agencies and the local community in the Uists are carried out. The biosphere reserve also includes a Ramsar site.
Although no special research and education facilities are available, the biosphere reserve is frequently used for scientific and conservation-orientated research as well as for environmental education of schoolchildren.
Proposals made in the periodic review for extending this reserve to meet the Seville criteria are being considered.
  Major ecosystem type   Freshwater wetlands including coastal/marine component (farmland, moorland, lochs)
  Major habitats & land cover types   Freshwater lochs; wetland; moorland; croftland; machair; sand dunes and beach; small plantation and relict scrub on islands in the loch.
  Location   5720'N; 0720'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,677
  Core area(s)   1,677 (National Nature Reserve, SSSI, SPA, SAC, Environmentally Sensitive Area)
  Buffer zone(s)   Similar habitats extending 10-15 miles north and south, under similar management regimes (ESA Scheme)
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +30
  Year designated   1976
  Administrative authorities   1,043 ha of freshwater and moorland, with some croftland owned by Scottish Natural Heritage (boought in 1958); 634 ha acquired in 1962 under a management agreement with the owners South Uist Estates and the crofters occuppying and managing the croftland/grazings. Local planning authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council).
  Brief description   Breeding greylag geese
Wintering goose numbers and damage
Woodland restoration
Machair vegetation
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Erosion.
  Biodiversity   Birds, breeding/reproduction, forest systems, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   David Maclennan
32 Francis St., Stornoway
HS1 2ND Isle of Lewis - Scotland
United Kingdom
  Telephone   (44.1870) 62 02 38
  Fax   (44.1870) 62 03 50

Last updated: 28/02/2007

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