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Wildflowers

The varied habitats and non-intensive agriculture make Bragar and Arnol particularly good places for seeing wildflowers. Traditional crofting practices greatly increase the floral diversity of the area, with the machair and àrd in particular bursting with colour through the summer months. Sheep graze these areas from mid-October to mid-May – this prevents coarse, rank vegetation from taking over and displacing the flowers and herbs. A succession of flowers can be seen from May until September, including orchids, ragged robin, clovers, vetches, birds-foot trefoil, thrift, wild carrot, yellow rattle, corn marigold, meadowsweet, scabious, fumitory, eyebrights, knapweed, angelica and many more.

Heathland areas also carry a rich diversity of flowers – for example, along the peat tracks close to Grinneabhat you will see carnivorous plants such as sundew and butterwort, as well as lousewort, milkwort, eyebrights, orchids, bog cotton, tormentil and heather. Similar species can be found on the clifftop heaths, along with wild thyme and thrift.