On Errismore are several areas of calcareous sandy coastal pasture. This grassland is machair (from Gaelic meaning flat or low-lying), a habitat that only occurs in the west of Ireland and Scotland, when sandy coastal pasture is lightly grazed.
Machair is unusually fertile grassland, enriched by winds driving off the Atlantic that blow tiny fragments of seashells over the sand that fertilises the poor soil, creating a rich grassland. By early summer the machair puts on one of the greatest wildflower displays anywhere in Europe, with astonishing flower colours and fragrances from the carpet of diverse wildflowers - Red Fescue, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, White Clover, Yarrow, Lady’s Bedstraw, Ribwort Plantain, Eyebright, Daisy, Orchids and more ….
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