Mound Alderwoods

The largest estuarine alderwood in Britain, the Mound Alderwoods have developed on wetland behind the Mound causeway and are now recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), while also forming part of the Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet Special Protection Area (SPA) & Ramsar site. The protected area extends to 300 ha (741 acres) and came into being after the construction of the causeway in 1816 trapped silt and mud, filling the previously tidal lagoon. Defoliation and subsequent death of alders was noted between 2005 and 2008, and an investigation revealed the presence of a pathogen which causes alder dieback syndrome. This was exacerbated by changes in the flood control regime to allow more regular flooding of the area.

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