Walk the Wild with the John Muir Trust: Sandwood Bay

Sandwood covers 4,703 hectares of wild and crofted land just a few miles from Cape Wrath on the north-west tip of Scotland. The John Muir Trust maintains the four-mile path to Sandwood Bay and monitors the spectacular wildlife in the area.

Sandwood Bay – one of the most remote and beautiful beaches in Scotland – is the jewel in the crown of Sandwood estate. Guarded by sea-stack Am Buachaille (the shepherd), this breathtaking beach dwarfs visitors in size.

The JMT maintains the path to the bay, which is under constant erosion from the weather and the footfall of visitors. Sections are easily washed away due to the soft soils. The organisation asks that people who would like to give regular support to their skilled and specialist path work on Sandwood get in touch with them.

The wider Sandwood estate lies within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The designation is for its dune grassland, shifting dunes and machair. This gives it the highest level of protection under European law. It’s also a national Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Image © Alex Roddie

Machair is a Gaelic word meaning low-lying fertile plain. It’s a rare and unique habitat created by man over centuries. It’s found in the north western fringes of Scotland and Ireland, including Sandwood.

Most of Sandwood is under crofting tenure, and it’s the crofters who manage much of the landscape today. The Trust monitors the spectacular wildlife in the area. This includes thousands of nesting seabirds and the rare great yellow bumblebee. They also carry out deer management and beach cleaning with volunteers.

How you can help

Becoming a member of the John Muir Trust is a great way to help take care of the wild places you love now and in the future. TGO readers can get a 25% discount when joining online by using the promotional code: TGOWILD. Find out more and sign up to help the UK’s leading conservation charity dedicated to the experience, protection & repair of wild places at: www.johnmuirtrust.org/join

Header image courtesy of the John Muir Trust


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