Indicators and data

Visitors to Scotland’s Environment Web will soon be able to see many datasets that have been used to assess the State of Scotland’s environment (SoE). This section of the website will continue to be developed and expanded as the project and partnership progress.

If successful, the approach being developed by Scotland’s Environment Web represents a major advance in the way that Scotland’s environmental datasets are managed and shared. At present project partners and other organisations periodically send their data to the Scottish Government. Data undergoes further quality assurance (QA) before being published through “Scotland Environment Statistics Online” (SESO). The current website provides links to datasets likely to be of interest to users.

It is the longer term aim of Scotland's Environment Web, that responsibility for publishing and quality assuring environmental data will be managed at source. Scotland's Environment website will ultimately seek to access environmental data directly from the partner organisations, providing users with access to the most up-to-date environmental data presented in a variety of formats to suit their needs.

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As the Scotland’s Environment Web project progresses Scotland’s Environment Web partners will no longer send their environmental data to the Scottish Government but will retain it and carry out all the necessary QA. Scotland’s Environment Web will be able to access this data directly from the partners with the advantage that any updates will automatically be fed into Scotland’s Environment Web. This will allow Scotland’s Environment Web users unprecedented access to the most up to date environmental data presented in a variety of formats to suit your needs.

The information will be arranged under the environmental topics of water, land, air, climate and environmental management, that will be familiar to users of Scotland’s Environment Web and relate to chapters of the SoE report.

For example under the “Rivers” topic of the “Water” chapter you will see a list of datasets that have been used in this section of the SoE report. You will then be able to select an individual result from the list, which will display a page showing the detail of that data and a simple line graph to illustrate the trend over time. For river water this might be mean nitrate concentrations plotted over the years where data is available. You will also be able to download the data should you wish to explore it further.

A wide range of environmental datasets is currently published through SESO and these will soon be available to explore directly though Scotland’s Environment Web. Data published on partner websites will also be accessible on Scotland’s Environment Web. For example historic environment statistics, biodiversity indicators and Scottish climate trends.

The Get Informed pages will be updated as work progresses on the project.

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Air

Air quality

Our understanding of the sources and impacts of air pollution has improved over the years and applying it has led to better air quality in some areas. However, there are still areas in Scotland where poor air quality affects human health and the environment.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish air quality datasets
European air quality datasets

Air quality state and trend
Water

Coastal waters

Almost all (97%) of Scotland’s coastal waters are in good or high condition, but there are local impacts from commercial fishing, aquaculture and diffuse pollution. Growth in industries such as aquaculture and renewable energy may increase pressure on coastal waters.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water Body Classification
Nutrients in transitional, coastal and marine waters

Coastal waters state and trend

Estuaries

Scottish estuaries are important resources for wildlife and humans, and 85% are in good or high environmental condition. However, they remain under pressure from human activity, particularly from nutrient enrichment and the damaging impacts of climate change.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water Body Classification

Estuaries state and trend

Freshwater lochs

Scotland’s lochs are an important part of our landscape and provide water for drinking and power generation as well as space for recreation. They are generally in good condition.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water Body Classification
Waterbase - Lakes European data

Freshwater lochs state and trend

Rivers and canals

Scotland’s river quality has improved in recent decades. Almost half of our rivers are now of good or better quality. Plans are in place to improve the remaining poorer-quality rivers.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water Body Classification
Scottish river water quality
Waterbase - Rivers European data

Rivers and canals state and trend

Rivers and lochs

Scotland’s freshwaters provide a range of habitats for plants and animals. Overall, freshwater habitats and species are in good condition.  However, while some individual habitats and species are improving, others are still under pressure.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish biodiversity datasets
Species of European interest
European species diversity

Rivers and lochs state and trend

Wetlands

Scotland's wetlands are home to a wide range of plants and animals. They also provide important environmental functions such as storing carbon and sustaining the supply of clean water.

Wetlands state and trend
Land

Crops and livestock

Scotland produces a range of crops and livestock. Our agricultural industry provides the basic ingredients for our food and drink industry, and is important for our health, environment and economy – particularly in our rural communities.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish agriculture datasets
European Gross nutrient balance (CSI 025)

Crops and livestock state and trend

Farmland

Scotland’s farmland is highly varied and contains a wide range of habitats for wildlife. However, populations of some birds and insects are in decline.  Intensive land management is the main challenge to farmland wildlife.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish organic farming
European organic farming (CSI 026)

Farmland state and trend

Fossil fuels and minerals

Scotland has a wide range of geological resources that make a major contribution to the economy. They are used in the energy, construction and manufacturing industries and need to be carefully managed to ensure they are available for future generations.

Fossil fuels and minerals state and trend

Mountains and uplands

Scotland's uplands contain our wildest places and some of our rarest plants and animals. The condition of many upland habitats is beginning to improve as action is taken to protect and manage them.

Mountains and uplands state and trend

Rocks and landforms

Scotland’s rocks and landforms provide a range of benefits and help us to understand how the Earth has evolved. Our protected Earth science features are almost all in good condition, but we know little about the state of rocks and landforms outside protected sites.

Rocks and landforms state and trend

Soils

Scotland’s soils are diverse and rich in carbon; they are a vital natural resource providing a range of essential benefits and need to be protected. We have good information about some soil properties in some parts of the country. However, there is a lack of trend data.

Datasets likely to be of interest

National soils inventory for Scotland
European soil map

Soils state and trend

Woodlands and forests

Scotland’s woodlands and forests support a wide range of important plants and animals. For wildlife, our woodlands are in a moderately good condition now and are likely to improve in the future.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Standing volume of Scottish timber harvested
Forestry Commission woodland statistics
Forests in Europe
Intensity of forestry in EEA member countries

Woodlands and forests state and trend
People and the environment

Cities towns and greenspace

Most people in Scotland live in its towns, cities and city regions. A good-quality urban environment is a substantial factor in people’s health and well-being.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scotland's Outdoors - National Indicator

Cities towns and greenspace state and trend

Energy

Energy in Scotland is changing and will continue to do so as we strive towards a low carbon future.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scotland: Amount of electricity generated by energy source 2000 – 2012
Europe: Share of electricity production by fuel type in 2009

Energy state and trend

Historic environment

Scotland's historic environment includes thousands of historic buildings and monuments, many of which are unique and irreplaceable. They attract millions of visitors every year and generate income and jobs.

Historic environment state and trend

Waste

Waste is produced by households and businesses. Progress is being made to reduce waste and increase recycling in Scotland, providing environmental and economic benefits.

Waste state and trend