Policy actions  4 of 5

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) form a set of nationally important natural areas in the UK. SSSIs in Scotland are notified by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for a range of habitats and species under powers granted by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, using UK-wide selection criteria.

There are currently 1,440 SSSIs in Scotland. Find more information on SSSIs on nature.scot.

Planning applications

When a planning application is submitted in relation to a development that may affect an SSSI, the planning authority must consult SNH and take its advice into account.

Management of sites

Where the natural features for which an SSSI has been notified are, or may become, compromised by established management activities, SNH will offer to enter into a management agreement to provide compensation for any actual financial loss. Established management can be taken to mean any activity that has been part of the actual or habitual pattern of use at the site for the previous 15 years.

For more information, see the financial guidelines for supporting the management of SSSIs and Natura 2000 sites.