Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage is funded by the Scottish Government. Its purpose is to: promote care for and improvement of the natural heritage; help people enjoy it responsibly; enable greater understanding and awareness of it; and promote its sustainable use, now and for future generations.

Objective 2 (Theme 2)

Recognition in policy

  • Development of National Policy Framework for Geodiversity
    In a partnership project with the BGS, SNH have commissioned a number of research projects to compile an evidence-base to support the forthcoming Geodiversity Policy Framework. The framework will be used to boost the integration and recognition of geodiversity in existing and emerging environmental and planning policy. The framework is looking to promote geodiversity in the wider environment, as well as site-based conservation.

  • Scottish Soil Framework
    The Scottish Soil Framework, launched in 2009, was developed with advice from a wide range of stakeholders. It is aimed at Scottish Government policy leads, delivery partners, environmental and business NGOs, research organisations and other key stakeholders with an interest in soils. It describes key pressures on soils, particularly climate change, relevant policies to combat those threats, and identifies the future focus for soil protection, key soil outcomes, and actions across a range of sectors.

Objective 3 (Theme 2)

Demonstrate relevance to sustainable development

  • Development of National Policy Framework for Geodiversity
    In a partnership project with the BGS, SNH have commissioned a number of research projects to compile an evidence-base to support the forthcoming Geodiversity Policy Framework. The framework will be used to boost the integration and recognition of geodiversity in existing and emerging environmental and planning policy. The framework is looking to promote geodiversity in the wider environment, as well as site-based conservation.

  • Scottish Soil Framework
    The Scottish Soil Framework, launched in 2009, was developed with advice from a wide range of stakeholders. It is aimed at Scottish Government policy leads, delivery partners, environmental and business NGOs, research organisations and other key stakeholders with an interest in soils. It describes key pressures on soils, particularly climate change, relevant policies to combat those threats, and identifies the future focus for soil protection, key soil outcomes, and actions across a range of sectors.

Objective 5 (Theme 3)

Establish audit

  • Site Documentation
    Programme to gather and document information about the remaining un-notified GCR sites, in the form of Site Documentation Reports, in preparation for their eventual notification as SSSIs. Each Site Documentation Report includes a combination of Plain English site descriptions, photographic catalogs and recommended management activities of each site, to be used to maintain the record of geodiversity information.

Objective 6 (Theme 4)

Conserve through sites and areas

  • Site designation and conservation
    SNH is responsible for the designation, conservation and enhancement of the SSSI network in Scotland, and as such provides advice relating to the conservation and enhancement of Geological Conservation Review sites.

  • Site Monitoring; designated sites and geodiversity in the wider landscape
    Through SNH’s commitment to delivering the Scottish Executive’s National Indicator on Protected Nature Sites , Site Condition Monitoring results are collated continually, over a 6 yearly cycle and are reported on annually. Data gathered as part of the monitoring programme are made publicly available online through SNHi’s SiteLink, including a variety of information about sites designated for their natural heritage value across Scotland. SiteLink is a map-based tool which navigates to SSSI descriptions and mapping, notification citations, information about the condition of individual site features (units), as well as National Scenic Area (NSA) descriptions, which inherently illustrate and celebrate Scotland’s geodiversity.

Objective 7 (Theme 4)

Maintain and enhance through management

  • Site designation and conservation
    SNH is responsible for the designation, conservation and enhancement of the SSSI network in Scotland, and as such provides advice relating to the conservation and enhancement of Geological Conservation Review sites.

  • Site Monitoring; designated sites and geodiversity in the wider landscape
    Through SNH’s commitment to delivering the Scottish Executive’s National Indicator on Protected Nature Sites , Site Condition Monitoring results are collated continually, over a 6 yearly cycle and are reported on annually. Data gathered as part of the monitoring programme are made publicly available online through SNHi’s SiteLink, including a variety of information about sites designated for their natural heritage value across Scotland. SiteLink is a map-based tool which navigates to SSSI descriptions and mapping, notification citations, information about the condition of individual site features (units), as well as National Scenic Area (NSA) descriptions, which inherently illustrate and celebrate Scotland’s geodiversity.

Objective 8 (Theme 4)

Share good practice

  • Review of soil management guidance for habitat conservation
    This review is supporting the development of soil information and guidance for use in casework and other in-house advisory work related to sustainable land management. In particular, it will adapt for Scotland an existing body of guidance developed elsewhere.

  • Guidance on Coastal Erosion and Coastal Development
    Provision of advice on the effects of coastal development, to consultants, developers, designers, planners, conservation groups etc. “Beach Dunes: a guide to managing coastal erosion in beach/dune systems” was published by SNH for coastal authorities and managers, and reviews the different ways in which erosion can be managed and describes and illustrates how each technique can be designed to minimise the damage to the natural heritage.

  • Provision of formal advice and guidance
    SNH provide advice and guidance on assessing the impacts of projects or development on rocks, landforms and mineral resources, particularly where these are within protected areas: - Mineral Extraction in Quaternary Landforms and Deposits (Information and Advisory Note 40) - Restoration and Management of Mineral Extraction Sites in Quaternary Landforms and Deposits (Information and Advisory Note 41) - Engineering methods for Scottish gravel bed rivers (Scottish Natural Heritage Review Report 47) - Minerals and the Natural Heritage in Scotlands Midland Valley

  • Scottish Fossil Code
    The Code, produced with assistance from palaeontological researchers, land managers, collectors and others with an interest in Scotland’s fossil heritage, provides advice on best practice in the collection, identification, conservation and storage of fossil specimens found in Scotland. The Code also aims to enhance public interest in the fossil heritage of Scotland and promote this resource for scientific, educational and recreational purposes.

  • Scottish Soil Framework
    The Scottish Soil Framework, launched in 2009, was developed with advice from a wide range of stakeholders. It is aimed at Scottish Government policy leads, delivery partners, environmental and business NGOs, research organisations and other key stakeholders with an interest in soils. It describes key pressures on soils, particularly climate change, relevant policies to combat those threats, and identifies the future focus for soil protection, key soil outcomes, and actions across a range of sectors.

  • Scottish Core Code
    In response to the growing concern of both the general public and geoscientists to the increasing number of core holes defacing outcrop, SNH has produced the Scottish Core Code for those planning to extract rock cores from outcrops in Scotland. Details available at: http://www.snh.gov.uk/about-scotlands-nature/rocks-soils-and-landforms/scottish-core-code/

Objective 9 (Theme 5)

Make relevant to the wider world

  • “Conserving Scotland’s Rocks, Fossils and Landforms”
    A free illustrated leaflet produced by SNH of information about how Scotland’s rocks and landscape were formed, what they tell us about the past, and why they need to be cared for. It also details how people can get involved with Earth heritage in Scotland.

  • “Trails Through Time in the Cairngorms National Park”
    Discover the dramatic story of the Cairngorms with these pictoral guides to 3 popular walks. Written for the non-specialist, these leaflets encourage the public to look at the landscape with fresh eyes.

  • Provision of geological information
    SNH produces a wide variety of media including information about geology, landforms and soils. On the recently updated SNH website, information is provided about: geodiversity (and its pressures and threats); geological foundation blocks; fossils; glacial landforms; coastline and sea level rise; fluvial geomorphology; soils; landslides; caves and karstic landscapes, and includes links to relevant publications throughout, such as the ‘Landscapes Fashioned by Geology’ Series.

  • Landscape Fashioned by Geology publications
    Scotland’s geological history is told area by area in the Landscape Fashioned by Geology Series. These illustrated booklets explain how the landscape developed over geological time, relating familiar views to the rocks beneath. The series has been produced jointly between Scottish Natural Heritage and the British Geological Survey.

Objective 11 (Theme 5)

Create resources to help integrate geodiversity into learning

  • Provision of geological information
    SNH produces a wide variety of media including information about geology, landforms and soils. On the recently updated SNH website, information is provided about: geodiversity (and its pressures and threats); geological foundation blocks; fossils; glacial landforms; coastline and sea level rise; fluvial geomorphology; soils; landslides; caves and karstic landscapes, and includes links to relevant publications throughout, such as the ‘Landscapes Fashioned by Geology’ Series.

Objective 14 (Theme 6)

Encourage working together

  • Assisting development of LGAPs, site auditing and designation
    For example, the “Geodiversity in Dumfries and Galloway” study: The aim of the study is to deliver a geodiversity audit and report to assist a new Geodiversity Volunteer Group for Dumfries and Galloway to develop a suite of Local Geological Sites. The study will provide an overview of the geodiversity of the area and a framework for site assessment, including linkages with the LBAP process and biodiversity sites, and will undertake a site survey to identify potential sites and provide supporting information.