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Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2013

This publication aims to provide an easily accessible reference document which offers information on a wide range of environmental topics. It covers key datasets on the state of the environment in Scotland, with an emphasis on the trends over time wherever possible. The data are supplemented by text providing brief background information on environmental impacts, relevant legislation and performance against national and international targets.

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Broad Habitat Change: 1990-20071

Extent of broad habitat (thousand hectares)

Broad Habitat Change: 1990-2007

A classification of 'broad habitat' was defined for consistent reporting and monitoring of priority habitats that were identified under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.2 The habitats range from developed land, such as built-up areas and gardens, to semi-natural land, such as grasslands, bog and bracken. The Countryside Survey 20073 reported the status of 19 of the 27 broad habitats occurring in Scotland. Changes in the extents of the 11 most widespread broad habitats are presented above.

Between 1998 and 2007 the area of broadleaved woodland, improved grassland and acid grassland increased significantly.4 Coniferous woodland and arable and horticultural land decreased significantly over the same time period. The area of all other broad habitats showed no significant change.

The largest change over the period 1998 to 2007 was in arable and horticultural land, which decreased by nearly 84,000 hectares (13.6%). The largest increase in area of broad habitat was for acid grassland, which increased by 72,000 hectares (7.9%) between 1998 and 2007, with most of this change being concentrated in the Scottish Uplands.

Source: Countryside Survey 2007 / Metadata

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