SNH has new way to mon­i­tor land­scapes

The Oban Times - - News -

SCOT­TISH Nat­u­ral Her­itage (SNH) has launched a new way of track­ing Scot­land’s con­stantly chang­ing land­scapes.

Scot­land’s Land­scape Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­gramme (LMP) is ac­ces­si­ble on SNH’s web­site, al­low­ing any­one to fol­low how our dy­namic land­scapes change over the years.

Our land forms have been shaped over thou­sands of years which has cre­ated the re­gional char­ac­ter of dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try as well as the fa­mous scenery Scot­land is renowned for world­wide.

The LMP will set out a base­line, from which the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered over time will be mea­sured to build up an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of the changes to the land­scape.

The na­tional pro­gramme has been de­vel­oped by SNH work­ing closely with a wide range of part­ners, and car­ry­ing out re­search, data re­view and pilot pro­ject work.

SNH Peo­ple and Places unit man­ager Peter Raw­cliffe said: ‘Our land­scapes are an im­por­tant part of our nat­u­ral and cul­tural her­itage. In con­tribut- ing to our health and well­be­ing, they help make Scot­land a bet­ter place to live, work and visit.

‘Our spec­tac­u­lar scenery is also an im­por­tant eco­nomic as­set, at­tract­ing in­vestors, busi­nesses, vis­i­tors and tourists, even Hol­ly­wood film-mak­ers, and pro­vid­ing jobs and help­ing to grow the econ­omy.

‘Scot­land’s Land­scape Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­gramme will help us to max­imise these ben­e­fits and al­low us to bet­ter as­sess how our land­scapes are chang­ing in a mean­ing­ful, prac­ti­cal and eco­nom­i­cal way.

‘This will help us to iden­tify key trends and their causes, and their sig­nif­i­cance in terms of how peo­ple feel about them and re­spond to them.’

At the heart of the pro­gramme is a num­ber of SNH Nat­u­ral Her­itage In­di­ca­tors. Seven have been pub­lished in the first phase, and have been grouped into four themes: land­scape qual­i­ties, pub­lic per­cep­tion, land cover and built de­vel­op­ment.

Pete added: ‘Mov­ing for­ward, we will be work­ing with com­mu­ni­ties and vis­i­tors to use cit­i­zen science to mon­i­tor change.’

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