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Mackay Country has much to offer. The environment is a very diverse area in both landscape and wildlife terms. This immense variability reflects the complex underlying geology ranging from the generally flat scenery to Torridonian sandstone/quartzite mountains. Much of central Sutherland is composed of rocks of the Moine series (Moine schists), named after A’Mhoine near Tongue where these rocks were first described. The climate shows strong variation from the mild oceanic west with high rainfall to the drier, more continental, east coast. The range of wildlife and habitats found here is equally diverse with virtually all northern plant and animal communities represented from coastal to mountain zones. many of the habitats and species found in Caithness and Sutherland are of national and international importance.

The low intensity management of land for crofting, farming and sporting purposes has helped maintain the natural heritage interest and created the characteristic landscapes we see today.

The area contains a wealth of prehistoric and later settlement sites. Many are well preserved and form an irreplaceable archive for understanding the past.


In ths brief section we describe some of the peple and life styles that set the features of life and living that are seen today and from the past that shaped today.

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