Natural History

Lochaber is one of the richest parts of Britain for its biodiversity, with many habitats and species of national and international importance.

Funghi - Funghi growing on tree stumpWith 26 sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), 13 Sites of Conservation Importance under the EU Habitats Directive and four Special Protection Areas under the EU Birds Directive, there are nationally and internationally important habitats and species here.

Geology plays a major part in creating this rich ecological mix. That’s because the igneous rocks of Morvern, Ardnamurchan and the Small Isles support a distinctly different range of habitats and species from the older metamorphic and igneous rocks to the north and east.

It’s not just the geology

Of course, it’s not just the geology that creates this amazing biodiversity. The wide range of altitudes and varied types of landscape, the range of climates within the area, and the relatively unpolluted air and water all play an important part.

To find out more about Lochaber’s biodiversity have a look at the Highland Biodiversity website.

Also In This Section

Plant Life

Like the range of landscapes that support it, the plant life in Lochaber is especially diverse. Mountain Plants In the mountains you'... Read More

Mountain Habitats

The biodiversity in Lochaber’s mountain areas is some of the most significant in Britain. Areas of national importance include the B... Read More

Glen Roy

Peat & grassland habitats

The peatlands of Lochaber are of outstanding international importance. In the west, bogs such as Claish Moss... Read More

Woodland habitats

Lochaber is renowned for its woodlands, particularly the oak and birchwoods, which are home to some of the best ‘Atlantic’ communit... Read More

Coastal & marine habitats

The long and convoluted coastline, which is largely undeveloped, is rich in habitats and species, with... Read More

Loch Shiel

Freshwater habitats

Because of the high rainfall and the glaciated shape of the landscape, Lochaber has an abundance of freshwater habitats. Rivers are typ... Read More