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Landscape and the historic environment

How people shape the landscape

People, as well as natural processes have shaped the landscape over thousands of years, which continues to this day. Our landscape history lies all around us, in rural and urban areas - impressive built features, such as historic buildings, standing stones and burial mounds and country houses, designed estates and gardens.  There are abandoned field systems and field patterns, settlements and railways, used and disused roads and tracks.  For more, see Historic Environment Scotland's external site website.

The quality, character and variety of our heritage and landscapes are intertwined, fundamental to our cultural identity and often create a powerful sense of place.  Some archaeological and historic assets have statutory protection as listed buildings, scheduled monuments or because they are in Conservation Areas. There are World Heritage Sites - recognised by UNESCO as places of internationally significant cultural or natural heritage, National Parks, National Nature Reserves and National Scenic Areas.

The non-statutory Inventories for Gardens and Designed Landscapes external site and Battlefields external site  highlight important cultural landscapes. For information on gardens and designed landscapes in the planning process and grants external site  for the preparation of landscape management plans for sites on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes see Scottish Historic Environment Policy external site . The Historic Land-use Assessment external site (HLA) project documents past land-uses; maps external site  are available. This study complements Scottish Natural Heritage's Landscape Character Assessments.

Initiated by the Scottish Government in collaboration with stakeholders and communities, Our Place in Time external site recognises how important places are, presenting a 10-year vision for managing the historic environment.  Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland were invited to build a common position on landscape and the historic environment; how this can inform management and care for our environment. This is vital in effective place-making external site . In September 2015, HES, the National Trust for Scotland and SNH held a workshop for stakeholders which helped to inform three key areas: policy and guidance; landscape mapping methodologies and Engagement with communities.  This work lies with the Strategic Historic Environment Forum external site  charged with progressing Our Place in Time. Together with a draft Common Statement on Landscape and the Historic Environment and draft Action Plan, they present a shared vision that acknowledges and values the landscape's historic dimension, how central it is to a shared and unifying approach to managing change in our landscape, and to work towards maximising public benefit for present and future generations.



Last updated on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at 11:50 AM. Click here to comment on this page