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A herd of deer grazing beside a ruined dwelling on Isle of Rum NNR ©Laurie Campbell/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Libary on tel. 01738 444177 or

Protected Areas for Nature Review

Protected areas have been at the centre of nature conservation policy since the 1940s. Much has been achieved through them.

In May 2014, we invited a panel to review how the role and purpose of Scotland’s network of protected areas for nature might be developed. The focus was on how to better secure public benefits within the context of wider thinking on land use and ecosystem services.

The panel, chaired by Scottish Natural Heritage Board member Simon Pepper, interviewed various experts and stakeholders over two days to inform its report.

Read the Protected Areas for Nature Review - Panel Report

Our Board welcomed the panel’s contribution to the review of protected areas. Its report offers opinion on the future of protected areas and reasoned challenge to current practice.

We published an initial discussion paper in 2015 to pick up on the challenges set out in the panel’s report: Review of protected areas for nature: considering the next steps – discussion paper 2015

We’ve since been speaking with key partner bodies to consider these issues in more detail: a collation of contributions was published in March 2017.

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