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The northern coastline of the Moray Firth is divided into two sections. From Dornoch to Helmsdale the coastline is dominated by sand and shingle beaches with the Loch Fleet estuary included in this section.

North of Helmsdale the coast consists of mainly cliffs and semi enclosed bayhead beaches. Here, the strong winds and waves from the North Sea have eroded the coastline to create dramatic cliffs, stacks, and small stony beaches.

The stacks and steep cliffs provide relatively safe places for seabirds to nest, away from predators like foxes and rats. The plants that grow on the cliffs have to be able to tolerate the salty spray of the waves and the drying winds, but some survive well here because there are no grazing animals, like sheep.

There are a few sheltered harbours, with Wick being the main fishing port in the area. Lybster Helmsdale and Dunbeath still see some fishing activity but much reduced from the peak in the late 19th century.

The Beatrice oil field lies only 22 kilometres off the coast, and the rigs can often be seen from land, in the distance.

Lets look at the Moray Firth
Moray Firth Review


Dornoch To Duncansby Head:

  • Loch Fleet
  • Conservation Site
  • Helmsdale

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