Why are Machair systems special?

Machair systems comprise an array of unique and precious habitats. Each habitat is home to an assemblage of equally unique and precious wildlife. In LIFE on Machair we focus on nationally threatened breeding wader species and pollinator groups (bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths).

As well as being unique and special, Machair systems also provide an array of ecosystem services including supporting farming through the grazing of animals, water flow regulation (flood mitigation) and sediment trapping, pollination, soil health, coastal protection and cultural and social heritage.

In recent decades, Machair sites provide a location for valuable recreational and tourism use, for both locals and more far-reaching visitors.

Getting the balance right for the future sustainable farming and recreational / tourism related use of Machair systems, against the backdrop of climate change is a key objective of LIFE on Machair.

Cattle grazing Machair
Cattle grazing Machair