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Habitats and ecosystems

Scotland's habitats are rich and varied. These have been shaped by natural variation in the rocks, soils, land forms, the surrounding seas and vagaries of our climate. Centuries of farming and other human use also have an important role.

Some of Scotland's habitats are world class. Our cool wet climate means we have some of the best examples of peat bogs and oakwoods in Europe. The spectacular flower-rich machair of the Western Isles and the flame shell beds in our sea-lochs are found on the west coast of Scotland and Ireland and nowhere else.

Find out more about Scotland's habitats, the species they support and why they are important to people.

Birch woodland, Craigellachie National Nature Reserve. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Woodland

From sheltered glens to rocky shores; fertile lowlands to high mountains, Scotland has an exciting range of woodland types.

Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe, West Highland Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Mountains, heaths & bogs

Discover why Scotland's mountains and moorlands are an important part of what makes our country special.

The Taagan floodplain and Kinlochewe river flowing into Loch Maree seen from the mountain trail, Beinn Eighe NNR, West Highland Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Lochs, rivers and wetlands

Discover Scotland's wet places - a mountain burn and the mighty Tay; a tiny pond to the depths of Loch Ness; a lowland bog to the vast Insh Marshes.

Organic cows and calves at Whitmuir Organic farm near Peebles. Forth and Borders Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Farmland and croftland

Much of the variety and interest of Scotland's landscapes, habitats and wildlife has been created by generations of farmers and crofters working on the land.

Scarista Beach on the Isle of Harris. ©Lorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Coasts and seas

Wherever you are in Scotland, you are never more than 65 km from the sea. Scotland's coasts and seas are dramatic, varied and highly productive.

Glasgow from the South, Strathclyde and Ayrshire Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Urban greenspaces & gardens

The urban environment is important because it keeps people in touch with nature.



Last updated on Thursday 22nd August 2013 at 12:19 PM. Click here to comment on this page