Our Place in Time: the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland

A high-level framework which sets out a 10-year vision for the Scotland's historic environment.

The Vision

Scotland's historic environment is understood and valued, cared for and protected, enjoyed and enhanced. It is at the heart of a flourishing and sustainable Scotland and will be passed on with pride to benefit future generations.

This vision is underpinned by a series of high level aims, together with the rationale for their importance and an outline for delivery.


We will realise this shared vision by:

  • Understanding - By investigating and recording our historic environment to continually develop our knowledge, understanding and interpretation of our past and how best to conserve, sustain and present it.
  • Protecting - By caring for and protecting the historic environment, ensuring that we can both enjoy and benefit from it and conserve and enhance it for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.
  • Valuing - By sharing and celebrating the richness and significance of our historic environment, enabling us to enjoy the fascinating and inspirational diversity of our heritage.


We will do this because it will help ensure that the cultural, social, environmental and economic value of our heritage continues to make a major contribution to the nation's wellbeing.


Delivering this vision will require the range of bodies, groups and individuals with an interest in, or responsibility for, aspects of the historic environment to work together towards a common purpose. Effective use must be made of the skills, experience and resources of all parties, to realise the values and benefits of our historic environment.

Panel from The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Panel from 'The Great Tapestry of Scotland'

Encampment at Cramond

Scotland's First House at Barn's Ness, East Lothian c8,000 BC

Photograph: © The Great Tapestry of Scotland

The key outcome for the Strategy is to ensure that the cultural, social, environmental and economic value of Scotland's heritage makes a strong contribution to the wellbeing of the nation and its people.

Delivery of the Aims and Vision

In delivering our shared vision for the historic environment we will be guided by the following overarching principles:

Scotland's historic environment is important

  • People value their historic environment
  • It enhances the quality of life and economic wellbeing for its people

Be ambitious: do more both to preserve and maintain the historic environment and to secure the many associated benefits

  • There should be an assumption to conserve
  • We should improve standards and base practice upon best available understanding
  • We should conserve the wider setting and context of our historic assets

Face the challenges

  • Achieve aims with a clear view of the best value for money
  • Take a flexible approach to issues such as climate change, seeing the big picture
  • Never miss opportunities to work together and learn from each other

The Strategy is underpinned by proposals for a series of high level strategic priorities for the sector.

Given its many values and benefits, the historic environment should be viewed as an integral and important part of the fabric of our society.


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