Local authorities regularly seek our advice on nature and landscapes.
Our advice to local authorities covers areas including:
- development planning and development management – where our role is based on statutory requirements
- management of natural heritage resources
- local biodiversity action plans
- local nature reserves
- access provision, core path networks and long-distance paths
- greenspace development
- country parks and regional parks
- environmental education
Changes to how the Scottish Government works with local government means we no longer give grants for certain natural heritage services.
Local Outcome Improvement Plans
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2016 formalised the process of Community Planning and added NatureScot to the list of statutory partners who must be involved in the development of a community plan. The focus of community planning is on addressing disadvantage in all its forms. Under the 2016 Act, Local Outcome Improvement Plans (LOIPs) replace the old Single Outcome Agreement as the document that draws together the local priorities and goals. In areas where local partners want to focus their efforts or address particular problems, Locality Plans can be developed (they cover areas of a similar size to Council wards).
NatureScot staff work in Community Planning Partnerships across Scotland. Our engagement varies from place to place depending on the local priorities. NatureScot may be involved as a:
- source of expertise on the contribution of natural heritage
- community planning partner
- contributor/participant in participatory budgeting
- funder (rarely, and for time-limited and innovative projects)
- provider of in-kind staff time.