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    This download service provides spatial data available from Historic Environment Scotland. The following datasets are included: - World Heritage Sites - Conservation Areas - Scheduled Monuments - Gardens and Designed Landscapes - Listed Buildings - Battlefields Inventory Boundaries - Historic Marine Protected Areas - Properties in Care

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    The Historic Land use Assessment (HLA) is a technique for helping understand the historic aspects of the landscape around us from an archaeological perspective. The HLA records the historical origins of the various components that make up the landscape, showing how they interrelate spatially and chronologically, and in doing so offers an insight into some of the processes that have created our modern landscape and enables us to recognise how features that survive from past events continue to influence the present. As such, the HLA is a key tool for understanding the historic landscape and complements other techniques of landscape assessment. In combination these enable a more holistic view of the landscape and its development over time to be achieved and approaches to landscape management and planning to be better integrated.

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    Defining Scotland’s Places (DSP) aims to define the known extent of the archaeological sites and monuments in the National Record of the Historic Environment at Historic Environment Scotland, John Sinclair House, Edinburgh. The polygons created through Defining Scotland's Places do not carry ANY legal status. For instance they do not represent the legal extent of a Scheduled Monument or Listed Building.

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    The Scottish Radiocarbon index shows the location of archaeological sites in Scotland where radiocarbon dating has been undertaken. The spatial index includes a link to the relevant record on the Canmore database (https://canmore.org.uk/) listing all recorded radiocarbon determinations with hyperlinks leading to individual results. The database excludes those results that cannot be linked to an identifiable site record in Canmore. It does not represent a complete record of all radiocarbon determinations undertaken across Scotland but is relatively complete up to 2005.

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    The defining of Conservation Areas is governed by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997; an update from previous Acts relating to such areas. Conservation Areas are designated by local planning authorities and can play an important role in environmental enhancement, economic and community regeneration (e.g. Townscape Heritage Initiatives and Conservation Areas Regeneration Schemes). Councils review conservation areas from time to time in order to assess the need for alteration of boundaries for areas for which special planning considerations apply, e.g. Article 4 directions. Many conservation areas now have character appraisals to explain what it is that should be preserved and what can be enhanced.

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    Compiled and managed by Historic Environment Scotland, Canmore contains over 320,000 records and 1.3 million catalogue entries from all its survey and recording work, as well as from a wide range of other organisations, communities and individuals who are helping to enhance this national resource.

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    The Properties in Care dataset comprises information on properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers and others. The properties in care estate is a collection of monuments, which define significant aspects of Scotland's history, brought into care for their long term preservation and public benefit through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The dataset identifies the approximate location of properties and sites.

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    Scheduled monuments are nationally important monuments and sites. The aim of scheduling is to preserve sites and monuments as far as possible in the form in which they have come down to us today. They are legally protected through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. National importance takes account of a wide range of factors, including artistic, archaeological, architectural, historic, traditional, aesthetic, scientific and social. Guidance and criteria to assess national importance of monuments is set out by Scottish Ministers in The Scottish Historic Environment Policy. This data allows you to identify the approximate position, size and extent of scheduled monuments in Scotland.

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    World Heritage Sites are described by UNESCO as exceptional places of ‘outstanding universal value’ and ‘belonging to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located’. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to protect and preserve such sites through an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, drawn up in 1972 Scottish Ministers identify and put forward sites to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for nomination. This dataset includes both the legal designation and buffer zone boundaries of the World Heritage Sites in Scotland enscribed by UNESCO as well as non-statutory sensitive areas for planning advice. Once a World Heritage Site is inscribed, under the Convention, member states have a duty to protect, conserve and present such sites for future generations.

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    Historic Marine Protected Areas ‘Historic MPAs’ are designated under Section 67 of the Marine Scotland Act 2010 to protect marine historic assets (e.g historic shipwrecks) of national importance within Scottish territorial waters. The Scottish Government is committed to clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long-term needs of people and nature. This includes protecting and, where appropriate, enhancing our most important historic wrecks and other marine heritage sites in such a way that they can be valued and understood. One way Scottish Ministers can achieve this is by designating nationally important marine historic assets in Scottish territorial waters as Historic Marine Protected Areas under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. The data shows the boundaries of all Historic Marine Protected Areas in Scotland. You should refer to the Historic Marine Protected Area site documentation for exact locations of individual boundary points and supplementary information.