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Think Green

Natural Environment

As part of its commitment to sustainable development, the Scottish Government is concerned to ensure that the natural heritage is conserved and enhanced for the benefit of present and future generations.

Water flowing over rock

The natural heritage of Scotland includes its:

  • biodiversity;
  • geology;
  • landforms; and
  • the natural beauty and amenity of its landscapes.

The environment within East Renfrewshire is varied and contains a number of sites which have been identified as having special natural heritage value and have been afforded protection as a result of this. Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Local Biodiversity Sites provide protection to a range of habitats and species and geology within East Renfrewshire.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Sites of Special Scientific Interest is a statutory designation made by Scottish Natural Heritage under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. Sites of Special Scientific Interest are those areas of land and water that Scottish Natural Heritage considers to best represent our natural heritage- its diversity of plants, animals and habitats, rocks and landforms, or a combination of such features.

There are 6 sites of Special Scientific Interest within East Renfrewshire.  Maps showing the location of each are given in the Related documents section.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest represent the best of Scotland's natural heritage and are nationally important sites which are afforded a high level of importance. 

Sites are chosen by Scottish Natural Heritage following a detailed survey and evaluation against published scientific criteria.  Further information on Sites of Special Scientific Interest is available on the Scottish Natural Heritage website.  A link is provided in the offsite links box to the right.

Scottish Natural Heritage designates Sites of Special Scientific Interest to protect the best of our natural heritage by making sure that decision-makers, managers of land and their advisors, as well as the planning authorities and other public bodies, are aware of them when considering changes in land-use or other activities which might affect them.

Wider Protection of Species and Habitats

Some species are protected by international legislation under the EU Habitats and Species Directive.  Species are also protected under national legislation, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004).  The duty of public bodies to further conservation of biodiversity under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, provides a statutory duty to protect nationally and regionally important biodiversity.


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