Provision of open source materials

Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) – 2021 Habitat Connectivity Map

NatureScot recently developed a habitat mapping tool showing existing habitat concentrations across Central Scotland. The tool also predicts opportunity areas where these can be connected. The tool develops upon the older Integrated Habitat Network map and provides a basis to support, digitally, the promotion of ‘nature positive’ development or to ensure that mitigation where necessary is appropriately located and configured. This tool may also help development management processes within regulatory authorities and improve spatial mapping data consistency given that NatureScot are a key agency with a national remit.

Air Quality Monitoring

This is an interactive map to explore different Scottish air quality monitoring sites and see detailed site information and the latest pollution measurements. It can provide digital information to support development assessment/s and to provide communities with accurate data to support feedback into planning consultations or the preparation of local place plans.

Scottish Forestry Map

This is a digital map that allows you to select from the following map layers:

  • Areas benefiting from Forestry Grant Scheme funding
  • Forestry Grant Scheme target and eligibility areas
  • Felling permission
  • Forest plans
  • Legacy Grant Scheme approvals

Akin to the Habitat Connectivity tools (NatureScot) and related this tool improves understanding and interpretation of the rural environment in addition to guiding environmental or economic initiatives which may support or manage activities within forestry areas or their locale.

Scottish Forestry – Scottish Forestry Map Viewer

National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas Scotland

This is a digital mapping tool that allows users to view and explore locations or assets and record wildlife and supply records meaning that this is a continually updated and interactive mapping resource.

Explore Your Area | NBN Atlas Scotland

Scotland’s Soils maps

There are four main types of digital maps available in addition to point data relating to specific locations where soils have been sampled and analysed for a range of properties.

  • Soil maps show the distribution of soils across the land.
  • Capability maps classify land based on the potential for what it could grow and how well it could grow it.
  • Thematic maps show the distribution of a specific soil property such as soil organic matter content.
  • Risk maps show areas of soil at risk of erosion, runoff, leaching and compaction.
  • Point data are data that relate to soils at a specific location.

Maps | Scotland’s soils (

Historic Land-Use Assessment Map (HLAMap)

This map allows the user to compare modern-day land use and past land use across Scotland using this interactive online map. The map is easy to use and allows the user to view how the landscape has changed over time.


Historic Environment Scotland Past Map

This map allows the user to locate details of archaeological and historic sites held in Scotland’s national and local historic environment records.

PastMap | Leading Public Body for Scotland’s Historic Environment

Historic Environment Scotland Portal

This digital resource provides live information about designated sites and places (for example scheduled monuments and listed buildings).

Home (


The Scottish Government and local authorities have had a long-standing focus on vacant and derelict land across Scotland. To address this and in conjunction with the Scottish Land Commission digital tools have been devised to support better planning outcomes for these areas of land. In addition, these tools serve to support communities and stakeholders in recognising derelict and underutilised locations and to assess how positive or negative impacts are being felt, locally.

The map highlights opportunities for reuse and also where there is some activity underway, whether that’s nature already claiming land and supporting local biodiversity or where redevelopment is ongoing. To help share learning, the map also showcases long-term derelict urban sites that have been repurposed. Working with SEPA and the Green Action Trust the Scottish Land Commission have published a map of long-term, derelict urban sites (DUSTEs), which map includes ownership details for each site. Land owners, including local authorities, are being asked to make a public commitment to taking proactive steps to address the vacant and derelict sites identified.

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Community Impact Tool

In addition and as recognition of the impact vacant or derelict land can have on local communities the below tool was devised and made available, titled ‘Community Impact Tool’. This tool is part of a toolkit and is made up of a survey with a scoring system that has been designed to help understand and collect evidence of how a vacant or derelict site makes communities feel. It is intended to help gauge and measure how sites impact community wellbeing and neighbourhoods.

In summary the tool can support local authorities and local organisations in collecting evidence to inform:

  • feasibility studies
  • funding applications
  • planning and place-making
  • investments and interventions.

It can also be used in conjunction with or a supplementary information to the Place Standard tool or Town Centre toolkit.

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SEPA Flood Maps

The SEPA flood maps help to develop an understanding of places that are most likely to be affected by different forms of flooding. The maps show areas which are likely to flood from rivers, the sea and surface water.

This tool may also help development management and development planning processes within regulatory authorities and improve spatial mapping data consistency given that SEPA are a key agency with a national remit. Such tools also provide an opportunity to inform other Plans and strategies including those progressed by those responsible for shoreline management strategies, flood risk management planning and by those considering sites or environs for new or enhanced sustainable urban drainage and surface water management infrastructure.

Flood maps | Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

National Marine Plan Interactive (NMPi)

This digital mapping resource is designed to assist in the development of national and regional marine planning in Scotland. It can convey and encourage collaboration across regional marine planning partnership areas and may provide a basis to support management of growth including renewable development proposals such as Offshore Wind. This tool and work led by Marine Scotland to prepare a Strategic Management plan for the Crown Estate in 2020 improves stakeholder engagement including those such as industry collaboration groups pursuing ‘Scotwind’ or other offshore wind opportunities.

Practically this can give rise to the use, application and interrogation of the Crown Estate Marine Data Exchange which provides a digital platform portal for gathering and disseminating vital information on a wide-range of offshore activities. It currently holds one of the world’s largest collections of freely available data relating to the seas around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and from September 2023 is extended to cover Scottish waters.

Marine Scotland – National Marine Plan Interactive (

NatureScot open data hub

NatureScot provides an open data hub of digital mapping resources.

NatureScot Spatial Data Hub

Natural Capital Laboratory (NCL)

Aecom have also recently developed a Natural Capital Laboratory (NCL). The NCL set up in 2019 by AECOM, the Lifescape Project, landowners Emilia and Roger Leese, and the University of Cumbria, is a live environment for identifying, quantifying, and valuing the impacts of re-wilding in the Scottish Highlands. ‘Located in the Scottish Highlands, near Loch Ness, for the next five years the NCL is restoring 100 acres of forest and reintroducing lost species. New digital tools and techniques have been adopted to track and communicate the complex data at scale, showcase the changes on the site, and create solutions which help tackle two of the biggest challenges of our times: climate change and biodiversity loss.’ Through this, Artificial intelligence (AI), drone technology, earth observation data, GIS data, and thermal imaging has been used to increase the accuracy and reduce costs relating to data analysis.

The data is captured in a natural capital accounting tool that creates a web-based digital twin (a digital replica of the actual site). The tool can be used for monitoring changes in soil, air or water quality and the movement and growth of animal populations.

Natural Capital Laboratory (


In February 2023, this project was commissioned as part of Inner Forth Futures – a mutli partners collaboration project led by RSPB Scotland and partners. It states:

‘By responding to local need and demand, Climate FORTH will facilitate and demonstrate the transformative action needed to transition to a climate literate, ready and resilient place. We will explore and share ways for local heritage to be an asset for a sustainable green recovery with multiple benefits. Through collaboration and co-creation, pilot schemes will explore how new adaptive responses to change can safeguard, sustain and re-purpose our unique natural, cultural and built heritage assets. We will ensure that adapting to change in the Inner Forth is part of a just transition – at the core of our project is supporting our most at-risk communities, notably young people and those facing environmental deprivation and inequality, to increase their resilience, wellbeing and access to opportunities.

As part of the project, Virtual Reality (VR) is understood to be used to engage with communities and explain what nearby communities would look like with factors such as climate change, sea level rise, disturbance and new development.

Climate FORTH | Inner Forth Futures (

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