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November 2005

The Distribution of the Water Vole in Caithness
E Fraser, D Glass and S Hogg

Introduction & Method
Results Page One
Results Continued
Future Work - Acknowledgements - References

Results Continued

Figure 4: Percentage number of sites in each habitat type category.

Figure 5: Percentage number of sites in each habitat type category,
showing the division between occupied and unoccupied sites.

Figure 6: Example of suitable habitat at Allt na Craoibhe, Latheronwheel Estate.

Table 2: Examples of plant species found in (a) suitable habitat and (b) unsuitable habitat.




plant group


Rushes soft rush (Juncus effusus)
conglomerated rush (J. conglomeratus)
Grasses tufted hair-grass (Deschampsia caespitosa)
Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus)
Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea)
Reeds Reed sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima)
Sedges Bottle sedge (Carex rostrata)
Common sedge (C. migra)


Water plants watercress (Nasturtium officinale)
Wetland/ edge plants cuckoo flower (Caramine amara)
meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
watermint (Mentha aquatica)
  brooklime (Veronica beccabunga)




Plant group



Table 3: Habitat type and suitability at each (a) occupied and (b) unoccupied site. Occupied sites also have an extra classification of occupancy level. Where there is more than one habitat type listed, the first in the list represents the majority of the habitat.

(a) Occupied Sites

Site name Habitat type Habitat suitability Signs
Allt na Craoibhe peatland typical high
Biel of Duncansby peatland typical medium
Munsary and Ballharn peatland typical medium
Allt nam Beist peatland typical medium
Loch Beg and Lochan Dubh peatland typical medium
Allt Caol peatland typical medium
Loop Burn and Burn of Aultachlevan peatland typical medium
Loch Hollistan peatland typical low
Gill Burn peatland poor medium
Burn of Tacher farm and croftland,


typical high
Little River farm and croftland typical low
Burn of Latheronwheel farm and croftland typical low
Thrumster farm and croftland poor medium
Lower River Forss farm and croftland poor low
Burn of Rattar farm and croftland poor low
Achsinegar farm and croftland poor low
Newtonhill Community Woodland forest and woodland typical medium
Achairn Forest forest and woodland typical medium
Loch Saorach and Thormaid forest and woodland typical medium
(b) Unoccupied Sites
Site name Habitat type Habitat suitability
Allt Chaiteag peatland suitable
Allt nam Sealbhag peatland suitable
Torran Water peatland suitable
Loch Garbh peatland suitable
Sinigoe Burn peatland suitable
Dunbeath Water peatland unsuitable
North Calder farm and croftland suitable
Strath Burn farm and croftland suitable
Midsand Burn farm and croftland unsuitable
Broubster Leans farm and croftland unsuitable
Wick River farm and croftland unsuitable
Loch Scarmclate farm and croftland unsuitable
Wolf Burn and Scrabster Loch Burn farm and croftland, urban and unclassified suitable
Rumster Forest forest and woodland unsuitable
Lower River Thurso urban and unclassified unsuitable

(a)  (b)

Figure 8: Percentage number of occupied sites with ‘typical’ and ‘poor’ habitat in each habitat type.

Figure 9: Percentage number of unoccupied sites with suitable and unsuitable habitat in each habitat type.

© Crown Copyright. The Highland Council 2005. 100023369

Figure 10: Map of Caithness showing the surveyed sites that are occupied and unoccupied.
Occupied sites also show level of occupancy.