Accessibility statement

This statement applies to content published on the domain.

This website is run by NatureScot. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. For example, you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible.
For example:

  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some documents have poor colour contrast
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • keyboard only users cannot skip to the main content 

Feedback and contact information

If you need information in a different format contact us and tell us:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your name and email address
  • the format you need, for example, HTML or accessible PDF

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you have any difficulties accessing any areas of this website or have any queries or suggestions. Please send us your comments using our Feedback form

Enforcement procedure

If you contact us with a complaint and you’re not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

NatureScot is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard.

Non-accessible content

The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:

  • where it fails the success criteria
  • planned dates for when issues will be fixed 

Non-compliance with the accessibility WCAG 2.2 regulations

Issues due to the third-party website codebase;

  • Dynamic changes or status updates are not being conveyed to assistive technologies. This fails under: 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (Level A) [sensory-characteristics] and 4.1.3 Status Messages (Level AA) [status-messages].
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1134).
  • Video with an audio track does not have an audio description. This fails under: 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) (Level A) [audio-description-or-media-alternative-prerecorded] and 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) (Level AA) [audio-description-prerecorded].
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1141).
  • Focus order is incorrect or illogical. This fails under: 2.4.3 Focus Order (Level A) [focus-order].
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1203).
  • Link text is not descriptive of the destination page. This fails under: 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) (Level A) [link-purpose-in-context].
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1213).
  • When text style properties are set by the user, there is no change in the appearance of text. This fails under: 1.4.12 Text Spacing (Level AA) [text-spacing]
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1238).

We will continue to look for accessibility updates in the codebase and implement fixes as they arise.

Fixes still required

  • Dynamic changes or status updates are not being conveyed to assistive technologies. This fails under: 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (Level A) [sensory-characteristics] and 4.1.3 Status Messages (Level AA) [status-messages].
    (NatureScot reference: SNH-1135).

Specific to Monsido automation tool

  • Links inside text are distinguishable.
  • id attributes must be unique. 
  • Data tables that contain more than one row/column of headers use the id and headers attributes to identify cells.
  • Each source anchor contains text
  • All layout tables do not contain caption elements
  • All input elements, type of "text", have an explicitly associated label.
  • Provide sufficient contrast between text and background colours.
  • The header following an h2 is h1, h2 or h3
  • The header following an h1 is h1 or h2

Most issues identified in audits at the end of 2023, both by an independent specialist and the Government Digital Services (GDS) were fixed in January 2024. The ‘fixes still required’ have been assigned as priority and will be fixed before March 2024. Issues identified in Monsido automation tool are reviewed on a weekly basis, recorded in our Jira system and resolved as part of our monthly BAU.
When we publish new content, we will make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Improvements road map for PDF's

Most non-compliant PDF documents have now been replaced with HTML. All documents published after December 2020 meet WCAG 2.2 accessibility standards.

Some PDF documents created before December 2020 are not accessible to screen reader software. This does not meet WCAG 2.2 success criteria. We have put a plan in place to make our documents accessible. We will work in chronological order, starting with the oldest and priority will be given to those that require immediate attention and high traffic volume.

There are 128 scientific research reports (dating between 23rd September 2018 and May 2021) that have yet to be converted to HTML. These documents may contain complex data tables using colour to convey information as well as scientific graphs and maps without long descriptions or appropriate alternative text.

However, should any users require an accessible version of any one of these documents please contact us and this can be arranged.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The following content does not need to comply with the accessibility requirements:

  • Third party content out with our control or not developed by NatureScot
    • Interactive maps and Story Maps
    • YouTube videos
    • Virtual dives
  • PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018
  • PDFS containing map images
  • live audio and video
  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020

Other NatureScot Services

Each service has its own accessibility page, with details of how accessible the service is, how to report problems and how to request information in an alternative format. You can access these pages from the footer inside the service.

How we tested this website

This website was tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2 level A and level AA, using the services of an independent Accessibility advisory.

We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to decide on a sample of pages to test.

This included the Home page and other representative pages including, standard content pages with embedded media such as images, videos, iframes, maps, image galleries, forms, listing pages, news pages, FAQ pages and gateway pages.

In January 2024, the Government Digital Services (GDS) conducted an audit of a representative sample of pages on, from which common accessibility issues across the website were identified.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 19 January 2024 . It was last reviewed on 15 February 2024.

Last updated: