- Water Quality
- Coastal Archaeology
- Intertidal Fishtraps
- Protected areas
THE CROMARTY FIRTH
Draining the Rivers Conon, Glass, Sgitheach, Averon and Balnagown, the Cromarty Firth forms a long, deep, sheltered arm of the Moray Firth between the Black Isle and the southern shores of Easter Ross. It is tidal to Conon Bridge, which is taken as the inland limit of the area under consideration, while the seaward limit is taken as the boundary of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority. The deep central channel reaches almost as far upstream as Alness.
Much of the surrounding land is of prime agricultural quality. The southern shores of the Firth remain predominantly farmland with a generally scattered pattern of rural settlement. In contrast, its northern shores support industrial and associated residential developments stretching, between Evanton and Nigg, along the shore and the main transport corridor formed by the A9 and the railway.
The advantages of the Firth as a well-sheltered, deep water port have long been recognised, accounting for the successful development of Cromarty in the 18th and early 19th centuries as a thriving port and the naval importance of Invergordon in the early 20th century. The need for sheltered deep water for oil platform construction and related facilities have likewise found the Firth a particularly suitable location, further strengthened by investment in transport infrastructure.
At the same time, the Firth's extensive sand and mud flats support internationally important numbers of wintering wildfowl and nationally important concentrations of wintering wading birds. Its rich history of human activity, based on its natural advantages, has also contributed to the area's diverse and attractive landscapes and habitats.
The Cromarty Firth - Its resources and management