Machair - a land with a flower-sweet taste
It can be hard to acknowledge that such places still exist. Numbed by the loss of variety of flowers and wading birds elsewhere, ground-down by statistics of vanished lowland meadows, it seems so improbable. But machair is there, it blooms, it beguiles. The word is Gaelic, shared by Scots and Irish versions (being spelt 'machaire' in the latter). It is usully applied to a plain of coastal ground, inland from an Atlantic shore and seaward of a peaty hinterland, where lime-rich sand, composed of fragments of countless millions of shells, has been blown by the prevailing westerly winds.