Skip to main content

21 December, 2016

SNH: better care of landscape can benefit communities

Better ways to manage and care for Scotland’s landscapes can help communities enjoy these natural assets and provide a stimulus to the local economy.

These values are outlined in two documents launched today by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) which show the value of joint working between the natural and historic environment sectors to improve the understanding and care of Scotland’s landscapes.

The first is a statement from the Scottish Historic Environment Forum on a shared vision for landscape and the historic environment.

It has been prepared to help increase understanding and appreciation of the historic dimension of our landscape. It also aims to influence decision-making through better collaboration, coordination and cooperation between local and national government, organisations, land owners and managers, and communities.

The second is a consultation on revised guidance on local landscape designations. This planning tool can help communities identify and celebrate landscapes which are especially valued locally.

Councils use these when preparing local development plans to ensure special qualities are safeguarded and enjoyed by the community.

Welcoming the initiative, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “This statement underlines the commitment of the Strategic Historic Environment Forum to better understand, manage and promote the important contribution the historic environment makes to the evolving Scottish landscape.

“Landscape matters to communities across Scotland – it connects people to place – and it is important that everyone with an interest is given the opportunity to inform decision-making about potential changes before they happen.

“The holistic and collaborative approach to managing the natural and historic environment supported by the statement is an excellent example of how we can work together across sectors to deliver on the key priorities set out in Our Place in Time and I am delighted that this common approach is already resulting in positive action around the planning and management of local landscapes.”

Ian Ross, SNH’s chairman, said: “Landscape is an important part of our natural and cultural heritage and contributes significantly to making Scotland a great place to live, work and visit. Working together, the natural and historic environment sectors are well placed to help more of Scotland’s people to benefit from the social and economic benefits that good landscape provides.

“As a clear recognition of this shared agenda, we were pleased to have been asked by the Forum to undertake the preparation of this statement. We are grateful to Historic Environment Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, local authorities and other stakeholders who have contributed to it. Today's release of the revised draft guidance on local landscape designations is a further demonstration of this strong commitment to continued partnership working.”

Comments on the draft guidance on local landscape designations are welcome and should be sent by 3 March 2017.


The consultation is now live

and more info at:

The Scottish Historic Environment Forum (SHEF) provides top level leadership across heritage organisations and other bodies to realise the shared vision for the historic environment as outlined in Our Place in Time, the historic environment strategy for Scotland. It is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, with membership including Historic Environment Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Land & Estates.

SNH and Historic Scotland first produced guidance on local landscape designations for local authorities in 2006, which introduced a more systematic and robust approach to identifying special landscapes locally. It has been well used, and after 10 years it required to be updated.  Comments on the draft guidance can be submitted online via the SNH website.


Contact information

Fergus Macneill
Job Title
Media relations lead on Protected Areas
Scottish Natural Heritage
01463 725021

NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

’S e NatureScot buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Bidh sinn a’ neartachadh àrainneachd na h-Alba agus a’ brosnachadh dhaoine gu barrachd suim a chur ann an nàdar. Tha e mar phrìomhachas againn gum bi nàdar na h-Alba beairteach agus gun dèilig sinn gu h-èifeachdach le èiginn na gnàth-shìde. Tha an tuilleadh fiosrachaidh aig no air Twitter aig