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  • This dataset combines all available field data for upland habitat impact assessment (HIA) survey work commissioned by SNH between 2004 and 2018 using the methods described in (Macdonald et al 1998). Data collation was carried out by Edward Wilson as part of the review of deer data Project 017079 managed by Jenny Bryce of the Wildlife Management Activity Team. The aim was to bring together all the available into a corporate dataset, standardise and clean the data and make it accessible for internal and external use. It should be used as the primary source of HIA data as it supersedes (through data cleansing) the data held in spreadsheets. Data refer to small-scale field indicators for grazing and trampling impacts by ungulates - most notably deer and sheep. NB not all indicators are appropriate to a given location, and where this is the case, data are referred to as not applicable (NA), adjacent to the relevant indicator. Additional field data include quantitative and trend measures. Attribute data, including Deer Management Unit, Deer Management Group, designated sites, and - where field-based observations are missing - NVC data, have been obtained from available SNH GIS data. Feature(s) of interest data has been determined based on survey Statements of Requirements and site-level designations (NB where both Natura and SSSI designations overlap, the former is prioritised unless otherwise stated in survey objectives), NVC descriptions and SNH specialised knowledge. Some apparent localised location discrepancies (e.g., points lying outside designated boundaries) do occur occasionally with this data, owing to GPS and human error from the time of survey. The method for producing summary grazing and trampling impact classes for each point have been standardised using a median value (or an intermediate class where there are equal numbers) and hence the summary descriptions (L, ML, M, MH, H) presented in this dataset may vary from those in the original surveyors spreadsheets. Indicator attribute names are coded to state the field guide habitat, as prefix (e.g. SG, for smooth grassland indicators); followed by the type of indicator or measure assessed (i.e., ’Q’, ’I’, ’T’ for quantitative, indicator and trend measures, respectively); the number of the measure, in order; and whether the measure is associated with grazing (‘GR’), trampling (‘TR’) or dunging (‘DU’) by ungulates. The order of the specific measures are taken from MacDonald et al. (1998) small-scale indicators for grazing and tramping impacts (only); the ordering of quantitative measures, which came into being after the guide publication, are determined from SNH document ‘DRAFT HIA Indicator tables 2017 v0.1.docx’ (A2479946). Survey data split into 8 separate layers based on the contents of the field forms used for collection: Blanket bog Dwarf shrub and heath Flushes U7 - U13 Snowbeds Scrub Smooth grassland Tall herbs Wind-clipped heath Explanation of attributes can be found in the HIA_attributes spreadsheet. Additional surveys will be added at irrgeular intervals.

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    Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has prepared a consolidated spatial dataset of ‘carbon rich soil, deep peat and priority peatland habitats’ in Scotland derived from existing soil and vegetation data (James Hutton Institute 1:25,000 and 1:250,000 scale soil data and Land Cover Scotland 1988). The resulting Carbon and Peatland map updated earlier work undertaken by SNH for the identification of natural heritage features of national importance available from Scotland’s soil website. The map is a high-level planning tool to promote consistency and clarity in the preparation of spatial frameworks by planning authorities. The map is a predictive tool which provides an indication of the likely presence of peat on each individually-mapped area, at a coarse scale. The types of peat shown on the map are carbon-rich soils, deep peat and priority peatland habitat.

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    From 2010-2012 all known saltmarshes larger than 3ha were surveyed across the Scottish mainland and offshore islands, to compile the first detailed comprehensive national survey of this habitat in Scotland. All saltmarsh and brackish swamp was mapped using the National Vegetation Classification. All mapped areas were digitised to a 1:4,000 scale GIS database. The condition of each saltmarsh site visited was assessed. The primary aims of the Scottish Saltmarsh Survey (SSS) were to obtain information on the morphology, vegetation community structure and species found on saltmarsh sites above 3ha in area or 500m in linear extent.The survey was a joint project between Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).The saltmarsh survey was tendered in 2009 and awarded to NatureBureau Ltd, who began work on the project in 2010.Detailed report:

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    This dataset details the SNH Administrative Boundaries. This dataset was digitised using the Ordnance Survey Meridian2 coastline and administrative boundaries data, Ordnance Survey MasterMap line features and the SNH Areas dataset.

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    Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is a recognised technique which identifies areas with a distinct composition of inter-related natural, physical, cultural and historical characteristics. A National Programme of LCAs was initiated by SNH in 1994 covering 29 regional studies carried out with local authorities and other organisations. Although the broad methodology is similar for each study (i.e. carried out in accordance with published guidance), there is not complete consistency in the naming and describing of LCTs. The 2010 Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (LLTT) LCA dataset sits alongside the National dataset, and is captured at a higher resolution. This dataset should be used in conjuction with the LLTT LCA 2010 Report.

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    The windfarm footprint map is intended to provide an overview only and we endeavour to keep the map as up to date as possible. However, users should note: •The map is updated regularly, but will never be 100% accurate. •There are several 'gaps' on the map where SNH are seeking appropriate mapping of proposals to add to the map. •The map should not be used to form the basis of detailed environmental assessment or regional planning work - it is an overview only. •The map shows the approximate physical footprint of the wind farm and is usually based on the site boundary as shown on the Environmental Statement. Where we don't have site boundary, a turbine 'envelope' is used instead, using the outer turbine locations. This will often include site access tracks, but generally excludes grid connections. •The map does not show the 'visibility' footprint of the windfarms, it shows the physical footprint only. •It is acknowledged that the word 'footprint' could be misleading - it does not represent the physical footprint of the turbines (or their foundations) themselves - it shows the area of land occupied by the windfarm and is intended to illustrate the relative scale of windfarm proposals. •The map only shows windfarms which are installed, consented, in planning or at scoping stage. It does not show proposals which are still confidential, or proposals which have been withdrawn or refused consent. •The map does not include small domestic wind turbines and generally only includes wind turbines of greater than 50m in height. •The map only includes proposals on which SNH are consulted, some small wind clusters or community scale proposals, which have not been reviewed by SNH may not appear. Note: this is not necessarily a comprehensive dataset of all wind farm schemes in the public domain and there may be some errors in the information supplied on this map. Windfarms which have been withdrawn from planning or refused consent do not appear on the map.

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    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.

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    A layer depicting the extents of local deer management units, based either on property boundaries or the extent of areas used as beats for Stalking. Can include plantation and waterbody boundaries. This dataset is also known as Property or Estate boundaries.

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    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 period. 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.

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    Many countries around the world have begun to adopt zonation systems as a strategic framework to guide their approach to the conservation, enhancement, understanding and use of the natural heritage. The natural heritage zonation approach adopted by SNH is intended to provide a logical framework, reflecting the diversity of Scotland's natural heritage, within which SNH can clearly and simply plan and execute its work. The zones are not, therefore, intended as a classification of the natural heritage but, rather as an operational tool which is founded in the natural heritage.