National Scenic Areas (WMS)

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National Scenic Areas (NSAs) are Scotland's only national landscape designation, and defined as areas “of outstanding scenic value in a national context” for which special protection measures are required. The designation’s purpose is both to identify our finest scenery and to ensure its protection from inappropriate development. NSAs are broadly equivalent to the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty found in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are regarded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Category V Protected Landscapes. There are 40 NSAs in total covering roughly 1 million hectares (13% of Scotland).

Local Landscape Areas - Scotland (SpatialHub WMS)

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There are many areas where the scenery is highly valued locally and local authorities often give these landscapes a local designation. This is to ensure that the landscape is not damaged by inappropriate development, and in some cases encourage positive landscape management. These designations play an important role in developing an awareness of the landscape qualities that make particular areas distinctive and promote a community's sense of pride in their surroundings.

The names used for such Local Landscape Areas currently vary from one local authority to another. For example, they are termed 'Areas of Great Landscape Value' in Moray, 'Special Landscape Areas' in Dumfries and Galloway, and 'Sensitive Landscape Character Areas' in Ayrshire. Guidance published by Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Scotland (see below) suggests the name be standardised to Local Landscape Areas (LLA) now. LLAs complement the National Scenic Area designation, which identifies those landscapes that are seen as nationally important owing to their unsurpassed scenery.

Ramsar sites contributing to the MPA Network (SNH WMS) (OSCP)

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A Ramsar site is the land listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention) 1973. The Scottish Government has designated 51 Ramsar sites in Scotland, covering 326,719 hectares. 

This layer is a Web Map Service (WMS) displaying Scotland's Ramsar sites that contribute to the MPA network.

Obstacles to Fish Passage (SEPA WMS)

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Obstacles to Fish Passage (SEPA WMS) contains information on the location of barriers on the river network, whether they are natural or man-made and whether they are impassable or passable to fish under certain conditions. The legend accompanying the WMS displays Barrier Type.

The initial dataset was received by SEPA in January 2008 from Fisheries Research Services (which became Scottish Government Marine Scotland in April 2009). The dataset has undergone some error checking and correction with help from FRS / MS. Additional information on obstructions was provided to SEPA by the Fisheries Trusts and Boards between January and March 2009. Workshops with participants from SEPA and Fisheries Trusts were held in late 2010 and early 2011 to correct and add to the dataset. The dataset is updated on an on-going basis by SEPA with information collected by SEPA staff or information collected by third parties and validated by SEPA fisheries ecologists.

The initial barriers were created during the update in 2007 of the 1986 Salmon map transferring salmon distribution information to GIS format on the 1:50000 Digital Rivers Network (DRN). More detail about the initial data is available in the NASCO report at http://www.nasco.int/pdf/far_habitat/HabitatFAR_Scotland.pdf and Figure 2. Map showing the estimated distribution of salmon in Scotland, based on a 2007 update of the original Map of the Distribution in Scottish Rivers of the Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salarL. (Gardiner and Egglishaw, 1986).


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