Scottish Natural Heritage: factsheet

Information on Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), our lead advisory body on nature, wildlife management, and landscape management across Scotland.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is our lead advisory body on nature, wildlife management, and landscape management across Scotland. It promotes, cares for and improves Scotland’s natural assets and helps people to enjoy nature responsibly.

We provide annual funding to SNH in the form of Grant in Aid to deliver its statutory aims, functions and duties, and to therefore deliver our priorities for natural heritage. It also helps us to meet our responsibilities under European Environmental Laws, particularly in relation to the habitats and Wild Birds Directives.

The Scottish Natural Heritage website,, contains comprehensive information on everything the organisation does.

Establishment and remit

SNH was established as an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) under the provisions of the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991, which in Schedule 1 sets out SNH’s constitution. 

SNH’s headquarters are based in Great Glen House, Inverness, with local offices across Scotland. Much of the organisation’s work is carried out in partnership with others including local authorities, Government bodies, voluntary and community groups, farmers and land managers.

SNH 's general aims and purposes in relation to natural heritage are to:

  • secure the conservation and enhancement of nature and landscapes 
  • foster understanding and facilitate the enjoyment of nature and landscapes
  • advise on the sustainable use and management of  nature and landscapes


Connecting People and Nature: SNH’s corporate plan for 2018 to 2022 sets out the organisation’s priorities for Scotland’s nature and landscapes, focusing on four interdependent outcomes:

  • more people across Scotland are enjoying and benefiting from nature
  • the health and resilience of Scotland’s nature is improved
  • there is more investment in Scotland’s natural capital and its management to improve prosperity and wellbeing
  • SNH has transformed how it works

SNH leads on the implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and associated Route Map to 2020, and its work is strategically aligned with other key national strategies to ensure the organisation continues to make a valuable contribution to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Purpose. 

SNH works closely with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) which is the statutory adviser to the UK Government and Devolved Administrations on UK and international nature conservation. The Committee was originally established under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but was re-constituted by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. JNCC delivers the UK and international responsibilities of SNH and the other nature conservation bodies for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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