Scheduled Monuments: 1991-2012
Number and area of sites designated as Scheduled Monuments
Historic Scotland is responsible for safeguarding and celebrating the nation's historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. This is achieved partly by giving legal protection to nationally important sites and monuments - these are called 'scheduled monuments'.
Scheduled monuments (SMs) are protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The oldest date from around 10,000 years ago, when people first settled in Scotland; the most recent include Second World War defences. Once a monument is scheduled, the prior written consent of Scottish Ministers is required for most works or activities in the scheduled area to help ensure the monument is not damaged or destroyed - this process is known as 'scheduled monument consent'.
The number of SMs and the area they account for has steadily risen every year since 1991. There was a 74% increase in the number of SMs between 1991 and 2012, and a 118% increase in the total area of SMs in this period. In 2012, there were 8,183 designated SMs in Scotland, accounting for a total area of 17,451 hectares. There are SMs spread across Scotland, with more added to the Schedule every year, but numbers vary across local authorities. In 2012, the largest number of SMs was in Highland Council, with 1,237 SMs covering a total area of 2,206 hectares.
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