NatureScot Commissioned Report 892: Geological and geomorphological features of SSSIs contributing to the MPA network in Scotland's seas

Legislative provisions in the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 enable existing Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) to be formally acknowledged as contributing to Scotland’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) network (and the wider UK MPA network).

It’s recognised that our MPA network should include sites for geological and geomorphological features as well as conservation sites for habitats and species. Prior to the present study, the potential contribution of geodiversity interests within existing coastal SSSIs hadn’t yet been assessed. 

This desk-based study’s main aims were to:

  • identify the marine geological and geomorphological features of relevance to coastal SSSIs in Scotland
  • compile a list of SSSIs that contain and protect these features

A total of 174 SSSIs were found to include confirmed marine geological and geomorphological Geological Conservation Review (GCR) interests below mean high water springs (MHWS). These SSSIs can be seen as contributing to our MPA network.

All SSSIs with coastal geomorphology GCR interests may also be seen as contributing to an MPA network via a process or sediment supply role.

Published: 2016
Pages: 55

Document downloads

Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed the name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020. 
At the time of publishing, this document may still refer to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and include the original branding. It may also contain broken links to the old domain.
If you have any issues accessing this document please contact us via our feedback form.