Greenspace around Dundee. Swanie Ponds. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Grounds and habitat management

Protect and enhance biodiversity as part of your grounds maintenance.

Grounds can include anything from office car parks, planters and gardens to municipal parks and golf courses.  They can have a variety of habitats and can be designed and managed to benefit a range of flora and fauna. You'll find plenty of opportunities to enhance biodiversity during your maintenance and management activities.

Managing for biodiversity can be surprisingly cheap. Have a look at Biodiversity on a Budget for some quick and easy tips on managing outdoor space.

Scotland has a wide variety of open and green spaces many of these are in urban environments.  Open and green spaces also include areas such as golf courses, allotments, Country Parks and Regional Parks, as well as local parks and playgrounds.

These open spaces along with green networks and habitat networks play an important role in both urban and rural landscapes, but the biodiversity value of these spaces can vary enormously.  Some areas of public open space have evolved from natural landscapes and therefore still retain many natural features, such as semi-natural grasslands and trees.  Newly created sites, whether private or public can be designed and managed to incorporate biodiversity value. For example, this can be done through creative planting schemes or the use of sensitive mowing regimes. More heavily managed places such as parks and recreation grounds can also be enhanced in the same ways.

Managing habitats

Discover the habitat types that are included on the Scottish Biodiversity List.

You can download descriptions of the priority habitats on the list and how to manage them.

Find out more about managing different habitats in Enhancing biodiversity in your grounds.

Managing species

A single habitat can support many different species.

This table of commonly encountered species and their habitats highlights the species you are likely to encounter and in which habitats.  It is not comprehensive, but it identifies those species for which specific action may be required.

Find out more about working with particular speciessafeguarding protected species and guidance for planners and developers on birds and other protected animals.

Find out more

Grassland Cutting and Enhancement
Parks and reserves - places managed for people and nature
Helping Scotland's Pollinators
Urban Habitats
Urban greenspace
Landscapes and habitats
Plants, animals and fungi
Protected Areas
Protected species and Licensing