Burn of Midsands (Greenland Links), Thurso

Coronation Meadow

Located near the sweeping arc of Dunnet Bay - itself a haven for seabirds - this coastal meadow hosts a wide range of wild flowers. There is a very special Scottish feel to the mosaic of plants and habitats found here. In damper parts of the meadow, the beautiful endemic Scottish primrose studs the grass with its yellow-eyed purple flowers, jostling for space alongside grass of parnassus. Rare hair sedge also grows here, while in drier areas, field gentian, wild thyme and frog orchid can be found. 

With the richness of its flora, this meadow is also home to the great yellow bumblebee, feeding on nectar from plants such as knapweed and kidney-vetch, and  the most northerly population of small blue butterflies (see 'Species to spot' below), who’s caterpillars feed on plants including common bird’s-foot-trefoil and white clover.

Species to spot



  • Scottish primrose

    Best time to see: May - June

    Unique to Scotland, this relative of the common yellow primrose prefers to grow in coastal meadows. Image © Plantlife/Bob Gibbons.

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  • Small blue butterfly

    Best time to see: May - June

    Our smallest native butterfly isn't actually especialy blue, despite its name with its upper wings being mainly dark brown. Its caterpillars feed on kidney vetch. Image © Harald Süpfle/CC BY-SA

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  • Bird’s-foot trefoil

    Best time to see: May-Sept.

    Also known as 'eggs and bacon', Bird's-foot trefoil is a good source of nectar for insects and forage for cattle. The 'bird's-foot' of its name refers to the shape of its seed pods.

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  • Common knapweed

    Best time to see: June - Sept

    A thistle-like plant also known as 'black knapweed', although its flowers are actually bright pink. It is a popular source of nectar for the Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Painted Lady and many other butterflies.

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Owned by

Mr Hamish Pottinger