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Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH; Scottish Gaelic: Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba) is the Scottish public body responsible for the country's natural heritage, especially its natural, genetic and scenic diversity. It advises the Scottish Government and acts as a government agent in the delivery of conservation designations, i.e. national nature reserves, local nature reserves, long distance routes, national parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and the national scenic area.

SNH is also a member of SEARS (Scotland's Environmental and Rural Services).

SNH has offices in most parts of Scotland including the main islands. Scottish Ministers decided to transfer SNH's headquarters from Edinburgh to Inverness in 2003/04, many staff left at this point as they did not wish to, or were unable to transfer location. The protected areas in Scotland account for 20% of the total area, SSSIs alone 13%.

SNH receives annual funding from the Government in the form of Grant in Aid to deliver Government priorities for the natural heritage. SNH programmes and priorities have a strong focus on helping to deliver the Scottish Government's National Outcomes and Targets which comprise the National Performance Framework.

The Government's adviser on all aspects of nature, wildlife management and landscape across Scotland, SNH also helps the Scottish Government meet its responsibilities under European environmental laws, particularly in relation to the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives.

The agency currently employs in the region of 680 people, but much of SNH’s work is carried out in partnership with others including local authorities, Government bodies, voluntary environmental bodies, community groups, farmers and land managers. SNH works closely with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the equivalent bodies for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to ensure a consistent approach to nature conservation throughout the United Kingdom and towards fulfilling its international obligations.

SNH has its own management team consisting of a chief executive and three directors covering Policy and Advice, Operations and Corporate Services. SNH also has board members appointed by the Ministers of the Scottish Government to determine the objectives, strategies and policies of SNH, in light of its statutory obligations and guidance from the Scottish Government. Supporting the Board are a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), a Protected Areas Committee (PAC), and an Audit & Risk Management Committee (ARMC). Members of these Committees are appointed by the SNH Board. There are sessions at meetings of the SNH Board, the SAC and the PAC which are open to the public to attend as observers.

On 1 August 2010, the functions of the Deer Commission for Scotland were transferred to SNH by section 1 of the Public Services (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Commission was dissolved.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ Section 1 of the 2010 Act on the Statute Law Database
  2. ^ The Public Services (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2010 (Commencement No.1) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/221)

External links

  • Scottish Natural Heritage website
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