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Oceanic bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and hydro electric development planning tool

This map provides assessment of over 5600 watercourse along the west coast of Scotland for their nationally/internationally important water-loving oceanic bryophyte (moss and liverwort) communities. Our approach is applied in line with our 'Planning for Development - Service Statement'

The aim of the map is therefore to help you take account of Europe's most important watercourses for these species before selecting sites for potential hydro development. Individual watercourses, or sites that contain multiple watercourses, have been assessed for either their known (categories A-C) or potential (categories D-E) importance. The category descriptions provide clear guidance as to whether a watercourse is known to hold bryophytes or likely to be of low bryological importance, and whether further survey is recommended. This assessment only considers the impact of water abstraction on water-loving oceanic bryophytes and additional consideration should be given to direct impacts of construction on important bryophyte habitats (e.g. springs/flushes, ancient woodland, deadwood, bogs).

For full details about the methodology and geographical limits of this assessment see SNH Commissioned Report 449b: Bryological assessment for hydroelectric schemes in the West Highlands (2nd edition).

We have also produced a new film that introduces the globally rare mosses and liverworts of our Celtic rainforest ravines and supports sustainable hydro-development.  external site

Use the search function, or zoom in on the map, to locate a watercourse. Activate one or all of the categories and click on the point for details of important species and assessment category. Click on the category titles in the key to find out what each category A-E means and whether further oceanic bryophyte survey is required

Scottish Natural Heritage is grateful to the British Bryological Society external site   and Biological Records Centre external site   for access to the data used to carry out the bryophyte sensitivity assessment.