Ancient Woodland Inventory (Scotland)


Ancient Woodland Inventory (Scotland)
Date ( Creation )

In response to a 1980 select committee which recommended that ancient woods should be recognised and treated as a separate category, the NCCs compiled the Inventories of Ancient, Long-established and Semi-natural woodlands. A more sophisticated classification was developed for woodlands in Scotland due to the nature of the available historical sources. IMPORTANT. For Scottish woods, the category Ancient comprises woods recorded as being of semi-natural origin on EITHER the 1750 Roy maps OR the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey maps of 1860. This is due a) to the likelihood of the latter having been omitted from the Roy maps and b) to render the Scottish classification compatible with that for England and Wales.


Scottish Natural Heritage

United Kingdom
GEMET - INSPIRE themes, version 1.0 ( Theme )
  • Habitats and biotopes
Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary, version 2.00
  • Woodlands
GEMET - Concepts, version 2.3
  • woodland ecosystem
license otherRestrictions
Other constraints
Available under an OS Open Data licence. You must always use the following attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the information: Copyright Scottish Natural Heritage Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right (year)
Use limitation
no conditions apply
Topic category
  • Biota
  • Environment
1750 1970
Reference system identifier
EPSG / OSGB 1936 / British National Grid [EPSG:27700] / 7.2

Distribution format
  • GML ( 3.1.1 )

  • KML ( 2.1 )

  • SHP ( 3.2 )

These Inventories have been published for a number of years and have been widely used for woodland management, local planning and strategic policy development. In order that staff may use and interpret the Inventories correctly a short account of the original compilation work has been provided. If this document has not been included here please contact the Woodlands Group for a copy. The status and methodology used to produce the Version 2.0 inventories is described in an I & A note "Further Development of the Inventory of Ancient and Long Established Woodland Sites and the Semi-natural Woodland Inventory". Version 3.0 differs from Version 2.0 in two regards. Firstly, a new field 'Map_Origin' has been added to the dataset. This permits the identification of the historical map source of each wood, along with whether a wood was first recorded as being of semi-natural or plantation origin. The different categories are : ASNO1750 - Ancient Semi-Natural Origin on Roy maps. ASNO1860 - Ancient Semi-Natural Origin on 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps. LEPO1750 - Long Established Plantation Origin on Roy maps. LEPO1860 - Long Established Plantation Origin on 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps. Other Roy - Woods of any origin on Roy maps, absent from 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps but present today. Secondly, the Version 2.0 category of 'Recent' has been amended. This category used to contain two types of woods: those present on Roy maps, absent on the 1860 OS maps but present on the 1970 OS maps; together with an incomplete selection of woods for which no historical map documentation existed but were of high nature conservation value. These latter woods have been removed from Version 3.0 but may be identified by overlaying designated sites datasets with semi-natural woods on the Caledonian Partnership's Millennium Guide to Scotland's Forest Resource. The amended category in Version 3.0 is now titled 'Other (on Roy maps)', and signifies historical woods that have survived a break in continuity of woodland cover. It should be noted that the records of long-established plantation origin (LEPO) woods - whether dating from 1750 or 1860 - are incomplete in the Borders area. While it is estimated that some 8,000 ha. of this woodland type exist in the Borders, for reasons of economy during the original paper compilation only 1,500 ha. of LEPOs were recorded. Derivation The inventories were derived from a desk-based exercise which examined woodlands from three sources : 1. The Military Survey of Scotland - 'Roy maps' - c. 1750 2. OS First Edition c. 1860 3. OS 1970 1:25,000


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A091F945-F744-4C8F-95B3-A09E6EF6AE33 metadataInXML
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Point of contact

Scottish Natural Heritage

United Kingdom