Why our landscapes are important

Our landscapes are a shared resource for everyone, regardless of ownership, ability or background, and they bring us many benefits.

Landscapes provide a living history of Scotland’s past and inspiration for many aspects of our culture. They underpin our national economy and offer a wide range of social and health benefits.

We must look after our landscapes as a unique and irreplaceable resource for current and future generations.

How we benefit from our landscapes

Pleasant surroundings and amenity

Our quality of life benefits from the attractiveness and amenity of our everyday landscapes.

Permanence and continuity

From a human point of view, many landscape elements are fixed or change only very slowly. They can give us a strong sense of place and reassurance.

Memories and associations

Individuals and communities may link certain landscapes with specific experiences.

Diversity and character

Our landscapes are distinctive and full of character, which helps us to define our sense of place both locally and regionally.

National identity

All of Scotland’s landscapes help to form our national identity. Some are even seen as national icons, as they project a sense of ‘Scottishness’.

Scenic quality, beauty and aesthetics

Rural landscapes are often valued for their natural beauty and attractiveness. Townscapes and individual buildings also have important aesthetic qualities.

Health and well-being

Attractive and accessible landscapes invite and encourage physical activity. They can also provide an escape from the pace of modern life and give us insights into our past and culture. Engaging more closely with landscapes is thus good for our physical and mental health and well-being as individuals.

Community regeneration

Communities can be strengthened by:

  • restoring degraded landscapes
  • engaging people in the history and biodiversity of local landscapes
  • involving people in general decision-making and management around landscape issues

Find out more about communities and landscape.

Enjoyment and recreation

Our wide range of landscapes – from local greenspace and urban parks to remote mountains and coasts – provide many ways to enjoy the outdoors. All offer relaxation, challenges, inspiration and a chance to experience our natural and cultural heritage.


Landscapes provide:

  • locations to connect with the natural world and built environment
  • a vital record of our past and insights into our ancestors and the places they lived
  • varied opportunities for learning about our natural and cultural heritage
  • settings for formal and informal learning activities

Find out more

Learn more about landscape, health and the economy.

Discover how we value our environment.

Landscape infographic illustrating the importance of Scotland's landscapes to its people and economy.

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