Sites of Special Scientific Interest
What are SSSIs?
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are those areas of land and water (to the seaward limits of local authority areas) that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) considers to best represent our natural heritage - its diversity of plants, animals and habitats, rocks and landforms, or a combinations of such natural features.
They are the essential building blocks of Scotland's protected areas for nature conservation. Many are also designated as Natura sites (Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of Conservation). The national network of SSSIs in Scotland forms part of the wider GB series.
SNH designates SSSIs under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. SSSIs are protected by law. It is an offence for any person to intentionally or recklessly damage the protected natural features of an SSSI.
Want to know more about SSSIs?
- There are just over 1,440 SSSIs in Scotland - where are SSSIs found?
- If you want information about a particular SSSI and you know its name or location, you can search for an SSSI using SNH's SiteLink function.
- Look up the SSSI Register if you would like to check the formal notification documents (map, citation and list of operations requiring consent) for any SSSI in Scotland.
- Try our Facts and Figures tool for the latest statistics on SSSIs and other protected areas. [Whilst we are updating F&F reports this link will take you to our SiteLink facility]
- Do you own or live on a SSSI? We publish a booklet for owners and occupiers (other than public bodies) of SSSIs.
- What about sources of funding for appropriate management? Find out how SSSIs are managed and protected.
- Find out how SSSIs are selected and notified.