Scottish Natural Heritage

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Web Service, OGC Web Map Service 1.3.0
WMS, Protected Sites, INSPIRE, Scottish Natural Heritage
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Scottish Natural Heritage (unverified)

Contact information:

Scottish Natural Heritage

Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, IV3 8NW Inverness, United Kingdom


Phone: +44 01463 725000

Service metadata

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OGC Web Mapping Service containing data managed and distributed by SNH that fall into the Protected Sites INSPIRE data theme

Available map layers (14)

World Heritage Sites - Natural (0)

World Heritage Sites are designated to meet the UK's commitments under the World Heritage Convention. The UK's ratification also extends to its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. These sites are designated for their globally important cultural or natural interest and require appropriate management and protection measures. Natural properties may be terrestrial or marine areas.

Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) (1)

Ramsar sites are classified to meet the UK's commitments under the Ramsar Convention. The UK's ratification also extends to its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. These sites comprise of globally important wetland areas and may extend into the marine environment up to a depth of 2m.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (2)

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are those areas of land and water (to the seaward limits of local authority areas or MLWS) that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) considers to best represent our natural heritage - its diversity of plants, animals and habitats, rocks and landforms, or a combinations of such natural features. They are the essential building blocks of Scotland's protected areas for nature conservation. Many are also designated as Natura sites (Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of Conservation). The national network of SSSIs in Scotland forms part of the wider GB series. SNH designates SSSIs under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. SSSIs are protected by law. It is an offence for any person to intentionally or recklessly damage the protected natural features of an SSSI.

Special Protection Areas (3)

SPAs in Scotland are classified by Scottish Ministers . These are areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and regularly occurring migratory birds within the European Union. SPAs are classified under the EC Birds Directive and together with SACs, form the Natura 2000 network. Proposed Special Protection Areas (pSPA) may be subject to change prior to classification.

Special Areas of Conservation (4)

SACs in Scotland are designated by Scottish Ministers under the EC Habitats Directive. They are areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive. SACs in terrestrial areas and marine areas out to 12 nautical miles are afforded protection through the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). Possible Special Areas of Conservation (pSAC) may be subject to change prior to submission.

Marine Protected Areas (5)

National Nature Reserves (6)

NNRs contain examples of some of the most important natural and semi-natural terrestrial and coastal eco-systems in Great Britain. They are managed to conserve their habitats or to provide special opportunities for scientific study of the habitats communities and species represented within them. NNRs are declared by the statutory country conservation agencies under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Marine Consultation Areas (7)

Marine Consultation Areas are identified by Scottish Natural Heritage as deserving particular distinction in respect of the quality and sensitivity of the marine environment within them. Their selection encourages coastal communities and management bodies to be aware of marine conservation issues in the area.

Local Nature Reserves (8)

LNRs are established in a variety of locations with very varied habitats and species. They must lie wholly within the area of jurisdiction of the local authority which declares them to be reserves. Prior to such declaration, the local authority must own or lease the site or obtain an agreement from the owner. LNRs are generally smaller than NNRs and closer to centres of population. They are frequently provided for the enjoyment and education of local people whose involvement in site management is encouraged.

Geological Conservation Review sites (9)

The Geological Conservation Review (GCR) is the register of known nationally and internationally important Earth science (geological and geomorphological) sites in Great Britain. The GCR underpins designation of Earth science features in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The majority of GCR sites, therefore, now have statutory protection through designation as notified features in SSSIs. In these cases the GCR site boundary indicates the extent of the Earth science interest within the SSSI. Some GCR sites, however, remain unnotified and are known as unnotified GCR sites. National Park Authorities and some Local Authorities treat these as candidate SSSIs and afford them the same protection as SSSIs. Some unnotified GCR sites are also Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS) and as such they are afforded levels of protection appropriate to locally important sites (though they are, themselves, considered to be of national or international importance). The remaining unnotified GCR sites have no statutory protection, although they are considered to be sites of national or international importance. Initially developed between 1977 and 1990, the GCR network is periodically updated and this dataset is subject to change. Boundaries of GCR sites are often not co-incident with SSSIs. Captured to old version of OSMM (the same one as the previous version of the SSSI data) so will need to be adjusted to PAI.

Country Park (10)

Parks are set up by Local Authorities to provide open-air recreation facilities close to towns and cities. All the parks have a rural character and are managed primarily for informal recreation. Some have nature reserve areas and most have a visitor centre and ranger service to encourage and facilitate visitor understanding. Country Park is not a statutory designation. Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967 Section 48 gives local authorities power to assess and review the need for Country Parks in consultation with SNH.

European Diploma Areas (11)

The European Diploma is an award established by the Council of Europe under Regulation (65) 6 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 6 March 1965 for certain landscapes, reserves and protected national features, and Resolution (73) 4 of 19 January 1973 on the Regulations for the European Diploma (amended and revised by Resolution (88) 39 of 5 December 1988, (89) 12 of 19 June 1989 and (91) 16 of 17 June 1989). By awarding the European Diploma, the Council of Europe recognises that the area is of particular European interest for natural-heritage and that the area is properly protected. The Diploma can be awarded to national parks, nature reserves or natural areas, sites or features. The award is for a five-year periods. Annual reports are required for each area, and the renewal of the award at 5 years is only made after independent assessment of the site. The Diploma can be withdrawn at any time if the area comes under threat or suffers serious damage.

Biosphere Reserves (12)

Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting the conservation of biodiversity with sustainable use. Biosphere reserves serve to demonstrate integrated management of land, water and biodiversity.

Biogenetic Reserve (13)

Biogenetic reserves act as living laboratories and are representative examples of various types of natural environment in Europe. They can consist of natural or semi-natural habitats and their selection is based on their value for nature conservation and protected status based on four criteria: typical, unique, rare and/or endangered which can be applied to habitats or species. The protected status must be adequate to ensure the conservation or management of the sites in the long term in accordance with fixed objectives.

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