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This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

Monday 22nd July 2024

Conserving Natural Heritage


Scotland's natural heritage encompasses natural and semi-natural ecosystems, making a distinctive rural landscape rich in biological diversity.

As well as environmental benefits, our natural heritage provides economic and social benefits, including:

  • Iconic habitats with their associated species important for tourism
  • 'Green space' for recreation and well-being
  • Extensive agricultural production, game-harvesting and forestry
  • Essential environmental services, including carbon sequestration

Reversing the loss of habitats and halting the decline in species under threat from climate change, atmospheric pollution and fragmentation associated with the intensification of agriculture is a policy priority.

Research Information

  • Presentation: Delivering Knowledge for Scotland's Biodiversity - presentation given to Scottish Biodiversity Committee, 9th March 2010, detailing relevance of Programme 3 biodiversity research to Scottish Biodiversity Strategy (2.3 MB pdf)
  • Presentation: Conserving Natural Heritage, Alison Hester, Macaulay Institute (1 MB pdf)
  • Posters (1MB pdfs)
  • Brochure (2MB pdf)
  • More information on Work Programme 3.6
  • More information on Work Programme 3.7

Expected Outcomes

  • Improved conservation policy and practice from a better understanding of the genetics, ecology, and interactions of key wildlife species and habitats
  • Better understanding the role and function of biodiversity in supporting healthy ecosystems, and in delivering environmental services expected by society
  • Development of 'non-market' and economic value assessments of species, habitats and ecosystems
  • Improved understanding of how public beliefs, perceptions and values influence attitudes towards biodiversity management


Machair pic

Functioning of species, habitats and ecosystems:
Work package 3.6

Management of biodiversity change:
Work package 3.7

Heritage - first slide

Slide show as 1MB pdf