What we’re doing
Sandwood Bay - one of the most remote and beautiful beaches in Scotland - is the jewel in the crown of Sandwood estate. Guarded by sea-stack Am Buachaille (the shepherd), this breathtaking beach dwarfs visitors in size.
We maintain the path to the bay, which is under constant erosion from the weather and the footfall of visitors. Sections are easily washed away due to the soft soils. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to give regular support to our skilled and specialist path work on Sandwood.
The wider Sandwood estate lies within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The designation is for its dune grassland, shifting dunes and machair. This gives it the highest level of protection under European law. It’s also a national Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Machair is a Gaelic word meaning low-lying fertile plain. It's a rare and unique habitat created by man over centuries. It's found in the north western fringes of Scotland and Ireland, including Sandwood.
Most of Sandwood is under crofting tenure, and it’s the crofters who manage much of the landscape today. We monitor the spectacular wildlife in the area. This includes thousands of nesting seabirds and the rare great yellow bumblebee. We also carry out deer management and beach cleaning with volunteers.
The best way to support our work at Sandwood is to become a member of the John Muir Trust.
About the land
- One of the best examples of machair on the mainland of Scotland lies between Sheigra and Oldshoremore. It contains more than 200 different species of plant, including eight orchids.
- The sea cliffs around Sandwood attract fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, puffins and shags. Remnants of ancient woodland hug the crags supporting more species.
- Some of the rocks around Sandwood are among the oldest in the world dating back to when the Highlands connected to North America.
- The first maps of Sandwood, in the 17th century, describe the area as an ‘extreem (sic) wilderness’ where wolves roam.