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How are SSSIs managed and protected?

The Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is a statutory designation made by Scottish Natural Heritage under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 external site

Most SSSIs are in private ownership and Scottish Natural Heritage works closely with their owners and managers to ensure appropriate management of the sites natural features; and to ensure decision-makers, land managers, their agents and advisors, as well as local authorities and other public bodies, are aware of SSSIs when considering changes in land-use or other activities which might affect them. 

Any Scottish public body proposing to carry out an operation that may affect an SSSI must notify Scottish Natural Heritage before starting.  If the public body thinks the operation may damage the protected natural features of the SSSI, they must apply to Scottish Natural Heritage for consent before starting. 

Scottish Natural Heritage must provide each SSSI owner and occupier with a site management statement that describes the interest of the site and explains the management needed to conserve its protected natural features.  These are available on SNH Sitelink. external site  

Site information

We are constantly improving the way we administer and manage SSSIs. We have recently improved the descriptions of each SSSI (citations) and updated their site management statements.  We have also generally reduced the site-specific lists of regulated activities (the operations requiring consent).  We sent these revised legal papers to owners, occupiers and other interested parties.  Citations, lists of operations requiring consent and boundary maps are available on the SSSI Register held by the Registers of Scotland.  We can also provide each owner and occupier with a collated list of all their current consents for operations on their land within each SSSI.  We have created new maps of SSSI boundaries with up-to-date backgrounds, and these are available via SNH SiteLink. external site

Operations requiring consent

Owners and occupiers of land within a SSSI must apply to Scottish Natural Heritage for consent to carry out certain operations that have been notified to them. Applications must be made in writing, which can also include email or by using the Application Form below.

How do I get help with managing an SSSI?

If you manage an Site of Special Scientific Interest, we will help you to carry out the appropriate management to maintain or enhance its natural features.  You may also be eligible for payments through SRDP Rural Development Contracts .  If your SSSI requires essential management which SRDP is unable to fund we may offer you a management agreement to carry it out.

The Scottish Executive published Financial Guidelines for supporting the management of SSSIs and Natura 2000 sites external site in October 2004.



Last updated on Tuesday 5th July 2016 at 09:22 AM. Click here to comment on this page