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.
Nature Conservation Orders (NCOs) are made to protect any natural feature of land that is within (1) a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), (2) a European site or (3) other land of special interest, and where it is either being actively damaged or there is evidence that it is under threat of damage. The Orders set out certain prohibited operations and the land to which they apply.
Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated by Scottish Ministers under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Sites can be established for the purpose of demonstrating, or carrying out research on sustainable methods of marine management or exploitation in Scottish territorial waters. Their application is not restricted to nature conservation. Proposals will be developed and assessed according to a set of specific guidelines which will examine the scientific case for a MPA, the level of support and the reasons why a MPA is the most appropriate mechanism to use.
Merged dataset containing land owned by or leased from SNH.
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. SSSIs were first designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The majority of these were later re-notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. All 1981 Act SSSI designations are carried forward, and all new SSSI designations are now made, under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.
The central core area (darkest sky) of the Galloway Dark Sky Park. The Galloway Forest Park received Gold Tier Dark Sky Park Status from the International Dark Sky Association in 2009 due to the exceptional quality of the night sky.
Areas of notable environmental or historical interest or importance which are protected by Planning regulations against undesirable changes
Galloway Forest Park was established in 1947 and is managed by Forestry Commission Scotland.
Under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 a local authority may determine which parts of its area are of special architectural or historic interest and may designate these as Conservation Areas. The public will normally be consulted on any proposal to designate conservation areas or to change their boundaries.There are over 600 Conservation Areas in Scotland. Many were designated in the early 1970s, but some have since been re-designated, merged, renamed, given smaller or larger boundaries and new ones have been added. They can cover historic land, battlefields, public parks, designed landscapes or railways but most contain groups of buildings extending over areas of a village, town or city. Further planning controls on development can be made by way of an Article 4 Direction, which may or may not be associated with a Conservation Area. An Article 4 Direction is not a conservation designation but an additional control within such areas. It is a statement made under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011. The Direction, made by a local authority and approved by Scottish Ministers, removes all or some of the permitted development rights on an area. The effect of a Direction is that planning permission will be required for specific types of development which would otherwise be regarded as 'permitted development', i.e. development that does not require a planning application. Directions can cover a variety of minor works and might include: the replacement of doors and windows, the erection of gates, fences, garages, sheds, porches, storage tanks or the installation of satellite antennae. This dataset contains Conservation Areas, Conservation Areas with associated Article 4 Directions, Article 4 Directions associated with a Conservation Area, and a small number of discrete Article 4 Direction areas.
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.