The rocky shore of Ru Arisaig and Loch nan Ceall, Lochaber ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Places and plans to safeguard geodiversity

Scotland’s geodiversity is safeguarded in our protected areas and Geological Conservation Review sites and through local geodiversity action plan activities.

A range of international, national and local designations help to safeguard Scotland’s geodiversity. All of these designations, together with local geodiversity action plans (LGAPs), can help to deliver healthy places for a greener Scotland.

Among the various designations that help to safeguard Scotland's geodiversity, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status is the main statutory means for doing so.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee carries out the Geological Conservation Review (GCR) to select Britain’s very best geological and geomorphological features. Scotland has nearly 900 GCR sites, most of which are protected as geological features in SSSIs.

LGAPs offer a new route to achieving geoconservation, which involves groups, organisations and individuals. Each LGAP establishes an ongoing process that sets clear aims, objectives and measurable targets for local geoconservation. By taking a partnership approach, LGAPs can make more effective use of the limited resources available.