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The importance of our landscapes

Our landscapes are important to us for many reasons. They are a shared resource for everyone, irrespective of ownership, ability or background.  They provide a living history of Scotland's past, and an inspiration for Scotland's culture.  They provide a wide range of social and health benefits and underpin Scotland's economy.  This unique resource should be looked after for the benefit of future generations.

For more information see Landscape, health and the economy and our publication Valuing our environment  PDF document .

How we benefit from our landscapes

Landscapes provide people with:

Pleasant surroundings and amenity
The attractiveness and amenity of our everyday landscapes are important for the quality of peoples lives.

Permanence and continuity
From a human perspective, many elements of the landscape are fixed or change very slowly providing a strong sense of place and reassurance.

Memories and associations
Individuals and communities may associate certain landscapes with particular experiences.

Diversity and character
The distinctiveness and character of our landscapes helps define a sense of place at both the local and regional level.

National identity
All of Scotland's landscapes are part of our national identity, but some project a sense of Scottishness and are considered national icons.

Scenic quality, beauty and aesthetics
Many of Scotland's rural landscapes are valued for their natural beauty and attractiveness. The aesthetic qualities and attractiveness of our townscapes and individual buildings are also important.

Health and wellbeing
Attractive and accessible landscapes invite and encourage physical activity. They can provide escape from the pace of modern living and give us better insight into our past and culture. Closer engagement with them is therefore good for our individual health and well-being both mental and physical.

Community regeneration
Restoring degraded landscapes, engaging local people in their history and biodiversity and involving people more generally in decision making and management can also help build stronger communities.

Enjoyment and recreation
Our landscapes provide a very wide range of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, ranging from local greenspace and urban parks through to remote mountains and coasts. All offer relaxation, challenge, and inspiration and an opportunity to experience first hand our natural and cultural heritage.

In addition to providing a setting for contact with the natural world and built environment, our landscapes provide a vital record of our past and insight into people we were and places we lived. They provide a range of opportunities for learning about the natural and cultural heritage and also settings for formal and informal learning activity.

Last updated on Monday 14th December 2015 at 14:40 PM. Click here to comment on this page