2019 marked 20 years since Site Condition Monitoring had been operational, and a review was undertaken to check that it still provided the information which NatureScot needs to perform its duties. The findings of the review were that:
- The monitoring programme was not making best use of resources as every natural feature was treated in a similar way, irrespective of it's sensitivity or vulnerability.
- Site Condition Monitoring was largely carried out in isolation from other habitat and surveillance work, making it difficult to get a clear picture of the overall health of Scotland's nature.
- Site Condition Monitoring focusses on individual natural features and their condition but provides little insight into interaction between natural features or the other habitats and species populations which occupy a protected area.
To help NatureScot shape its monitoring and surveillance programme going forward, an expert panel was commissioned to investigate the current issues with the monitoring and surveillance programme and to recommend changes to strengthen it in the future.
Read the expert panel report on monitoring and surveillance.
NatureScot staff are currently devising how the recommendations can be implemented.