The landscape of the central islands of Benbecula and North Uist bears the hallmarks of heavy glaciation. Geologically these islands are part of the Canadian Laurentian shield with a few isolated peaks rising from low-lying peaty moorland dotted with many lochs some of which are arms of the sea, some fresh water and some with only a narrow link to the sea at high tide. Behind extensive, beautiful white shell-sand beaches where cattle roam the narrow strip of machair is cultivated during a small window of time in spring. Isolated houses, each with their peat pile, are hardly ever clustered together in to settlements but scattered across the whole parish ... it is said the only time people 'live' next to their neighbours is when they are in the cemetery! All the northern islands are dominated by the strict tenets of the 'Wee Frees'. On the sheltered east coast are a few tiny fishing harbours. Herds of red deer imported in the 18th and 19th centuries by wealthy landlords roam the moorland. The neolithic chambered cairn of Ben Langass is one of the earliest remains found on the islands. Another causeway links the small island of Berneray to North Uist. Berneray boasts more beautiful beaches, machair lands,seals, nesting birds, abundant flora ... and evidence of the time when collecting seaweed was a major occupation.