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Pressures on our geodiversity

Apparently solid and fixed for all time, Scotland's geodiversity is nevertheless irreplaceable and vulnerable to certain activities and changes in land use.

Some activities are potentially damaging to our geodiversity; however, if consultations take place at an early stage, Scottish Natural Heritage may be able to offer advice on ways to safeguard our geodiversity. Often safeguarding our geodiversity also helps conserve the biodiversity which depends upon it.

We promote the conservation and enhancement of the geodiversity of Scotland as an integral part of managing our natural heritage. This means raising awareness of geodiversity and working with others to ensure that pressures on geodiversity are recognised and dealt with appropriately.

Geodiversity features are non-renewable assets which exist in a variety of forms, including rock exposures, landscapes shaped by ice, beaches, rivers and soils.

Trearne Quarry. ©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

Rocks - hard but vulnerable

Rock exposures may seem ageless, but they are vulnerable to being lost not only through removal but also by burial or becoming covered by vegetation.

Muir of Dinnet 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

Landscape sculptures - Ice Age legacy

Landforms which are the legacy of our glacial past are irreplaceable on a human timescale; but can also be good sources of sands and gravel or sites for forest.

Spey at Garmouth. ©P&A MacDonald/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk

Rivers and coasts - dynamic landscapes

Restriction of dynamic rivers and coasts may seem to be a good solution to local erosion or flooding, but can often have detrimental consequences.

Fossil tree stumps at fossil grove in Victoria park, Glasgow. ©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

Fossils - endangered past species

Fossils provide an invaluable insight into the past; but our fossil resource can be threatened by irresponsible collecting.

Old tree root exposed by peat erosion in a peat bog, Coire Fee NNR, Glen Doll, Angus. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the SNH Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Environmental archives - buried ancient pollen

Ancient pollen in peat bogs preserves the story of plant collonisation since the last glaciers melted. This record can be destroyed by disturbance to the bogs.

Potato furrows and white clouds. ©Lorne Gill
/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 458530 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright/

Soils and the living landscape

Soils perform many roles and functions are also valued for themself. Also in general good conditions, soils are under threats from changing climate and land use



Last updated on Thursday 24th March 2011 at 15:09 PM. Click here to comment on this page