Barra Airport Survey

Barra Airport is unique as it is the only airport which uses a beach for scheduled     flights. It sits in an area of outstanding scenery on the north of the Island of Barra close to both European and UK protected sites. The immediate area includes coastal habitats, including sandy beach, sand dunes and machair while heath and mountains occur further afield.

  • Barra Airport

    Barra Airport

  • Beach habitat

    Beach habitat

  • An eroding sand dune

    An eroding sand dune

  • Dune and machair habitat

    Dune and machair habitat

The survey

Prior to any development an extended Phase 1 habitat survey was completed in line with the JNCC Handbook (2010). It identified all sensitive habitats and species which may be affected by works, as well as make recommendations to ensure the long term functionality of the adjacent protected sites. 

Although no signs of otter were found, a number of interesting birds were seen in the area. These included knot, curlew, lapwing, brent geese and the Schedule 1 species - snow bunting. However, as the footprint of the development is small there will be no impact to the nesting habitat of any of these species. Further consultation and stakeholder engagement will occur before any further surveys are carried out.


  • Brent geese in flight

    Brent geese in flight

  • A small skein of brent geese

    A small skein of brent geese

  • Flock of oystercatchers

    Flock of oystercatchers

  • Snow buntings

    Snow buntings