skip to main content

Coastal Character Assessment

Scotland's coasts are an important part of its nature and landscapes. They display great variety ranging from the lochs and islands of the west coast to the sweeping sand and dunes on the east - and lots of variations in between. Many towns and villages are sited on the coast and road or rail routes, as well as ferries, often follow the coastline.

Marine Planning, introduced in 2010, provides a framework for the sustainable development of the Scottish marine area and guide decisions at sea and in the coastal zone.

Scotland's Landscape Character Assessments focus on the terrestrial landscape. In a complementary approach, Coastal Character Assessment provides information to underpin marine plans, development plans and specific development proposals.

Coastal characterisation considers additional characteristics associated with the coast, i.e. the coastal edge, its hinterland, and areas of sea. SNH is soon to publish coastal characterisation guidance (following a focussed consultation in spring 2016).

Unlike the series of Landscape Character Assessment that SNH commissioned in the 1990's, SNH does not intend to conduct a similar exercise for the entirety of the Scottish coastline. Parts of the coast have been characterised through aquaculture capacity studies or marine renewables proposals; the coverage is shown on this map  PDF document . Orkney and North Caithness are the latest stretches of coast to be covered, through a recently commissioned study which can accessed via the 'related links' on this page.

Last updated on Tuesday 11th April 2017 at 13:28 PM. Click here to comment on this page