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Landscape variety in Scotland

Scotland has a great variety of landscapes for its size. 

A new map of Scotland's landscapes and places   PDF document shows this.  It unites the physical fabric of our towns, countryside, hills, glens and coasts with the human and cultural aspects of place and history. Designed to highlight the variety that occurs in even a small country, and make communication about landscape issues easier, it has been developed by Scottish Natural Heritage with input from Historic Scotland, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and others. 

The map divides Scotland into 79 areas, each with accompanying descriptions:  1-10  PDF document  Shetland and Fair Isle to Harris; 11-20  PDF document Wester Ross to Monadhliaths , 21-30  PDF document , Speyside to Deeside & Donside 31-40  PDF document Aberdeen & Lower Deeside to Angus Glens , 41-50  PDF document Strathmore & Mearns to Firth of Tay , 51-60  PDF document  Islay & Colonsay to Lothian & Borders Coast , 61-70  PDF document Kintyre to Ettrick & Moffat Hills and 71-79  PDF document  Lower Tweedale to Cheviots.

Together they present a national picture of Scotland's distinct landscapes. They will:

  • increase awareness of the diversity of Scotland's landscapes, regional distinctiveness and the importance of place;
  • enable easier communication of landscape, e.g. by providing a gateway to other information sources;
  • facilitate involvement in landscape issues;
  • provide a framework for monitoring some types of landscape change;
  • provide a Scottish counterpart to similar landscape mapping elsewhere.

The map complements, and does not replace, the more specialist landscape analysis contained in the existing set of Landscape Character Assessments (see below) and Historic Landuse Assessment. Information on the methodology  PDF document  used to produce the map is available.

The map is currently in a pre-publication phase. In due course it will be made interactive easier to access. In the meantime, if you would like to comment on the contents or suggest other ways we could develop this material, please e-mail

Scotland's varied landscapes - other information sources

All the landscapes of Scotland have been classified and mapped through the technical process of Landscape Character Assessment .

An account of Scotland's landscapes and how they have changed over time can be found in Scottish Natural Heritage's National Assessment - Landscape.  PDF document  

Historic Land-use Assessment external site , a partnership initiative between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Historic Scotland, is an analysis of the present landscape, recording the visible traces of past land-use across Scotland and presenting it as a digital map.

Last updated on Monday 14th December 2015 at 14:41 PM. Click here to comment on this page