skip to main content

National designations

National designations cover a range of different types of protected area and are made by a variety of local and national authorities.  Some of these designations focus on nature conservation while others are concerned with special landscapes.  The management of multi-functional protected areas (such as our National Parks) seeks to balance the needs of people, landscape and nature. 

Wetland area at Keltneyburn SSSI.  ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

SSSIs form the essential building blocks of nature conservation in Scotland

Craig Nisbet with young visitors at the Tentsmuir NNR openday. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

National Nature Reserves

Great places for visitors to get closer to nature

Visitors to Inchcailloch National Nature Reserve, Loch lomond. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

National Parks

Important for people, wildlife and spectacular scenery

Jagged mountain peaks. Rum NNR. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

National Scenic Areas

Scotland's wonderful and distinctive landscapes

Eelgrass (Zostera marina)  © Paul Kay/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Looking after Scotland's very special sea life

Jewel Anemones. St.Kilda.  ©SNH/MNCR. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas

Protecting Scotland's seas

Walkers in woodland. © George Logan/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Other national designations

Including Garden and Designed Landscapes, Forest Parks and other woodland designations



Last updated on Tuesday 23rd February 2016 at 14:09 PM. Click here to comment on this page