Scotland's historic buildings and monuments are unique and
irreplaceable; attracting millions of visitors and generating
income and jobs.
Scotland's historic environment, which includes thousands of
historic buildings and monuments, attracts millions of visitors
each year and generates income and jobs. It provides a strong
foundation in building a successful future for Scotland.
Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011 will
improve the ability of owners, tenants, business, the voluntary
sector and regulatory authorities to manage this asset.
Key pressures are: development, changing land use, climate
change, coastal erosion and flooding, carbon footprint, renewable
energy, funding, visitors, skills and materials and
As these assets are irreplaceable, we must care for them so that
future generations can enjoy them.
Our historic environment includes designated and undesignated
assets. Designation aims to identify the most important parts of
the historic environment so that their significance is
Designated assets include:
World Heritage Sites
- 47,540 listed buildings
- 8151 scheduled monuments
- 386 designed gardens and landscapes
- 641 conservation areas
- 8 protected wrecks
- 7 scheduled wrecks
- 14 nationally important battlefields
Scotland has two National Parks, six Forest
Parks and 40 National
Scenic Areas. These contain many important historic environment
features. These are discussed further in the Landscape topic.
The scale of undesignated assets is indicated by the fact that
there are 290,565 records held by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and
Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and 265,354 records
held by local authority Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs).
These assets are irreplaceable.
Scottish Ministers are committed to the sustainable use and
management of the historic environment.
Key reference documents are:
Scotland's historic environment makes a valuable contribution to
Scotland's economy, generating income and jobs across Scotland, and
contributing in excess of 2.6% of Scotland's national gross value
It is a strong driver for tourism and inward investment -
attracting more than 15 million visitors each year—and it promotes
a positive image of Scotland, at home and abroad, providing a sense
of place and cultural identity.
Heritage-led regeneration benefits both communities and the
economy, stimulating regeneration of the built environment and
generating work in the construction industry. It also provides
strong opportunities for participation and volunteering across
Scotland and contributes to education and training programmes in
schools and colleges and in up-skilling the construction workforce.
It also supports, develops and promotes Scotland's traditional
building skills and the use of traditional building materials.
The historic environment plays a vital role in tackling climate
change through the sensitive re-use of historic buildings.