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What we do

Our role is to protect and promote Scotland’s natural heritage, which contributes so much to our nation’s prosperity and well-being.

Scotland’s nature and landscapes are among our greatest assets. Nature gives us food and drinking water, energy and timber. It contributes to a clean and healthy environment. And it improves our well-being and quality of life.

Yet the overuse of natural resources since the 1950s – especially for certain types of farming, forestry and fisheries – has resulted in less space for nature and its associated benefits.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the lead public body responsible for advising Scottish Ministers on all matters relating to the natural heritage.

Our purpose is to:

  • promote, care for and improve our natural heritage
  • help people to enjoy nature responsibly
  • enable greater understanding and awareness of nature
  • promote the sustainable use of Scotland’s natural heritage

We also advise local authorities, and work with the Scottish Parliament and public, private and voluntary organisations towards shared aims. Working efficiently like this is part of our commitment to delivering a high quality public service.

Learn about how we plan our work to achieve our priorities.

Our vision

“People value Scotland’s natural assets because they generate benefits for all, sustaining us and improving our economy, health, lifestyles and culture.”

Our mission

“SNH is the leading organisation in Scotland that seeks to inspire, enthuse and influence others to manage our natural resources sustainably.”

The bigger picture

Our work contributes to the Scottish Government’s purpose of “creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.”

Scotland’s natural capital plays an important role in:

  • supporting economic growth
  • improving health and well-being
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping us to adapt to climate change
  • strengthening communities