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Machair

From Academic Kids

Machair

Machair

The Scottish Gaelic word Machair or machar refers to a fertile low-lying coastal plain. The Machair occurs only in the North-West of Britain and Ireland, and it is particularly prominent in the Outer Hebrides. Two different definitions of Machair exist:

  1. a type of sand-dune pasture, subject to agricultural cultivation, which prevails in wet and windy conditions
  2. the span of land from the beaches to the area where sand encroaches on peat bogs further inland.

The Machair has received considerable ecological and conservational attention, mainly because of its unique ecosystem. It houses rare carpet flowers, such as Irish Lady's Tresses, orchids, and yellow rattle, along with a diverse array of bird species including the corncrake, twite, dunlin, redshank and ringed plover.

The Machair faces threats from erosion resulting from rising Atlantic sea levels, and from the recreational use of beaches.

Compare the Machars in Dumfries and Galloway. The island of Berneray has particularly fine Machair.

Machair was also the name of a Scottish Gaelic soap opera on ITV.de:Machair

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