Protected Areas

Protected areas, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), and Special Protection Areas (SPA), represent the very best of Scotland’s habitats, plants and animals, rocks, fossils and landforms. Burning and cutting can damage some of these features, and therefore special conditions may apply.

On SSSIs, if burning is listed as an ‘Operation Requiring Consent’ (ORC), consent from Scottish Natural Heritage MUST be obtained before carrying out any burning. (See the Sitelink webpage for ORC details for all sites).


Heather amongst bog species (Photo credit: The Heather Trust)


Scheduled monuments are archaeological sites and monuments of national importance and MUST NOT be damaged. If works are planned that will use wheeled vehicles, or create any form of ground disturbance, or if there are other concerns about potential damage to a scheduled monument, practitioners should contact the Heritage Management Directorate of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) for advice about any permission that may be required.

It is important to identify the scheduled area on the ground, as it may extend beyond any visible features.  Locations of scheduled monuments can be found on Pastmap, and detailed maps of scheduled areas on the HES web site.