Berneray Beach - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
A key feature of Berneray is its Machair, an area of land which edges the beaches and sand dunes along the shoreline. Machair is land which has become fertile over time by crushed shells and other minerals. This land was once the sea bed, but through the geological process which take place over thousands of years, this land has been elevated from the sea bed and dried. Sand dunes formed as grasses grew, able to take root because the crushed up seashells from this dried-out sea bed offer the nutrients needed for plant life. Once grasses grew, a cultivatable environment was established and has become lush pasture land.
Traditional crofting practice, which involves summer agriculture using seaweed together with dung from winter grazing animals as natural fertilizer, has, over time, bound together and stabilized the Machair. In the summer months the fertile soil of the Machair supports a spectacular and colorful array of wild flowers and plants.
Berneray is perhaps best known for its beaches. The famous west beach is a three mile unspoilt, deserted crescent of sand. The east beach, at the end of which sits the Youth Hostel, is also spectacular. Likewise, the little coves and beaches on the south side. All of these are good locations for a picnic, and for spotting otters and other sea life.
Apart from Boreray, with a population of 1, Berneray is the only inhabited island in the Sound of Harris, with an area of 10.1 square kilometers (2496 acres). Berneray rises to a height of 305 feet (93 m) at Beinn Shleibhe (otherwise known as Ben Leva or Moor Hill) and 278 feet (85 m) at Borve Hill.
Berneray Beach - FURTHER INFORMATION
Berneray Beach - Berneray by Harris visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Berneray Beach' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Western Isles.
Berneray Island lies between the Isle of Harris to the north, and the main part of North Uist to the south. At the far southern end of the Western Isles, there are two more islands known as 'Berneray' - this can often lead to confusion!