The Isle of Harris and Isle of Lewis are at the North west corner of the group of Islands known as the Outer Hebrides, or Western Isles. The Hebrides are known as the “long island” as they stretch for 100 miles.
The Gaelic word machair or machar refers to a fertile low-lying grassy plain found on some of the north-west coastlines of Ireland and Scotland, in particular the Outer Hebrides. Two distinct types exist:
A type of sand-dune pasture, subject to agricultural cultivation, which prevails in wet and windy conditions;
The land between a beach and the area where sand encroaches on peat bogs further inland.