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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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    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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    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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    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: http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=2404

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    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.

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    The data contains boundaries of Wild Land Areas in Scotland as determined by their level of naturalness, remoteness, ruggedness and lack of built modern artefacts. Boundaries should be considered as ‘fuzzy’ rather than definitive to reflect the transitional nature of wild land. It is an updateand replacementto the previously published Core Areas of Wild Land(CAWL)produced in 2013. Note that the areas have been renumbered sequentially and differ from those on the CAWL map.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.