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Duneland, Maritime grassland and heaths


Areas of windblown sand, generally near coasts and having distinctive, though varied dune landforms are characteristic of this category. Vegetation cover may be incomplete so that bare sand is exposed, in other instances dunes are partially stabilised by grass, principally marram grass (Ammophilia arenaria). Stabilised links areas are also included, the low dunes or flat terrain with grassland including plants such as fescues, eyebrights and lady's bedstraw.

Dune system, Uists Dune system - blow out through erosion - Uists
Dune system, Uists Dune system - blow out through erosion - Uists


These features are exclusive to cliff-top, headlands and small islands which are strongly exposed to sea spray. They occur locally from Shetland and Orkney to the north coast of mainland Scotland and the Hebrides. Characterised by a short closed turf, the dominant species include sea plantain (Plantago maritime), carnation-grass (Carex flacca), vernal squill (Scilla verna) andred fescue (Festuca rubra) with heather and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) occurring locally.

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