Land cover

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    Land Cover Scotland (LCS) 1988 was the first ever national (air-photo) census of land cover in Scotland to describe the principal features and characteristics of the countryside. It was produced by The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now the James Hutton Institute) on behalf of Scottish Government to assist in the development and monitoring of policies affecting the state of the Scottish countryside. It was intended that the 1988 LCS be used as a baseline for monitoring change. The classification system allows for 126 land cover types to be identified as point, line or area features. An important aspect of the classification system is that it allows for mosaics of the land cover types to be identified, where the pattern of cover types was so complex that individual types could not, at the selected interpretation scale, be separated. Over 1300 mosaics are identified in the LCS 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 areas the boundaries show relate to specially identified areas for hill farming.

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    This download service provides spatial data relating to land cover held by the Scottish Government.

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    This service contains layers with data about various landscape related modelling projects and classification systems.

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    Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is the recognised analytical technique which identifies areas with a distinct composition of inter-related physical, cultural, historical and perceptual characteristics. The first national programme of LCAs was initiated by SNH in the 1990s, and produced 29 reports with relevant local authorities and other organisations. This dataset has been reviewed to take account of intervening technical improvements in website mapping to produce a revised national suite of landscape character types. This is at 1:50,000 scale and has been created in collaboration and consultation with FCS and HES as well as all local authorities.

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    Whilst TPOs are a legal requirement they may not always be digitised accurately. Users of this data should not assume this data is totally accurate and should consult the specific local authority for more detail before making any decisions A TPO is made by the Local Authority, under Section 160 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, and within the procedures set out in the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation Order and Trees in Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2010. They are made to protect individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands which have particular amenity value, make a significant contribution to the landscape or townscape or because there may be a potential threat to the trees. Deciding which trees qualify to become protected the local authority must ensure that the trees contribute to the amenity and attractiveness of an area and be under threat in some way. Either individual specimens or groups can be protected in a single Order. More information and guidance on Tree Preservation orders and Trees in conservation can be found in Planning Circular 1/2011. Which provides an overview of the TPO procedures, explaining how the requirements from the Act and Regulations fit together. Some local authorities capture polygons of tree preservation areas. Others will identify actual trees as point TPOs. Several LAs capture both. We have initially created two separate layers - point and polygon, to represent TPOs. This may show duplication where a point falls within a polygon. We may adapt this rationale and methodology in due course as we know that there is a discrepancy with Registers of Scotland's TPO data.

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    This view service provides spatial data relating to land cover held by the Scottish Government.

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    South Ayrshire Test

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    All local authorities will receive planning applications for renewable energy sites. Some local authorities have provided us with such data, from which we have selected only approved and/ or operational sites. We have also received separate files of data showing renwable energy sites - both as point and polygon, and we have attempted to merge all of this data together to form a national dataset.