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Landscape, health and the economy

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 inspiration for Scotland's culture.  They provide a wide range of social and health benefits and underpin Scotland's economy.

Landscapes for people and health

Attractive, accessible landscapes, including green spaces in urban environments, invite and encourage physical activity.  They can delight and inspire us, significantly improving our health and wellbeing.  Landscapes can have important 'restorative qualities' and promote recovery from physical and mental stresses.  For information on how we should be making more use of this resource to address some of the important health issues in Scotland today, see our position statement Developing the contribution of the natural heritage to a healthier Scotland.

Scotland's 'wild places', such as mountains, forests and coasts, are an opportunity to get away from the stresses of modern lives, and can provide challenge, adventure and exploration.  Find more on wildland in Scotland and the benefits it provides.

Green networks with open space in towns, cities and rural settlements are important settings for a wide range of social interactions and pursuits that support personal and community well-being.  They allow individuals to interact with the natural environment and provide habitats for wildlife.

See PAN 65 Planning and Open Space external site for more on the role and planning of open space landscapes.

PAN 77 Designing Safer Places  external site highlights the positive role that planning can play in helping to create attractive well-managed environments which can discourage antisocial and criminal behaviour.

Landscapes for a strong economy

In the competitive global market for inward investment, our landscapes are a key part of the 'sales pitch' used in promoting Scotland as a desirable location, attractive to businesses and their staff.

The rural economy is strongly dependant on recreation and tourism industries.  Scotland's stunning landscapes and wildlife attract tourists from near and far, and are consistently given as the top reasons for visiting Scotland.

The effects of development and land management on the economic value of landscape are important to consider in decision making.

Further information on the economic importance of Scotland's nature and landscapes can be found in Valuing our environment  PDF document  and our pages on the Scottish economy.

Last updated on Tuesday 11th April 2017 at 13:20 PM. Click here to comment on this page