Policy actions  5 of 5

Ramsar sites and nature reserves

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands: an intergovernmental treaty that aims to conserve wetlands through local and national action and international cooperation.

There are 51 Ramsar sites in Scotland, covering around 4% of Scotland’s land area.

While there is no dedicated legislation for the protection of Ramsar sites in the UK, all Scottish Ramsar sites are either Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and are protected under the relevant statutory regimes.

It’s our policy to apply the same level of protection to all Ramsar sites as if they were designated as Natura 2000 sites.

Find more information on Ramsar sites in Scotland on nature.scot.

Nature reserves

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are areas of land set aside for nature, and signify Scotland’s best wildlife sites.

Find more information on nature reserves on nature.scot.