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We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Managing Change

Helping to look after Historic MPAs

Visiting the Duart Point Designated Wreck Site
Historic Environment Scotland provides advice for all Historic MPAs in Scottish territorial waters so that public authorities and sea-users can play a positive role in supporting the preservation objectives for these areas.

Public authorities

Public authorities with functions capable of adversely affecting marine historic assets are expected to carry out their duties in a way that respects the preservation objectives for Historic MPAs – for example in preparing plans and strategies or issuing consents.

Works and activities subject to consenting processes

Impacts from a wide range of works or activities within the boundaries of the protected area and immediately surrounding it that are subject to consent processes such as planning permission, marine licensing or Crown Estate seabed leases will be assessed by Historic Environment Scotland in discussion with the relevant public authority.

Diving and archaeological investigations

Designation of Historic MPAs does not prevent public access. Indeed responsible access is normally encouraged and local diving groups and archaeologists can play a positive role in helping to investigate and monitor the condition of marine historic assets within Historic MPAs.

However, removal, alteration or disturbance of marine historic assets within the area is illegal without permission. Diving groups and archaeologists wishing to undertake intrusive archaeological investigations (for example excavation and recovery of samples or objects) will need to apply for a marine licence and should make early contact with Marine Scotland’s Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT).

Fisheries regulations and Marine Conservation Orders

Where there is a need to prohibit, restrict or regulate particular activities this will be achieved through use of Marine Conservation Orders. If the need arises to restrict or prohibit particular types of fishing activity in the area, this would be undertaken through existing fisheries legislation.

Obtaining advice from Historic Environment Scotland

Operational advice is provided in site documentation for each area to help regulators, developers and sea-users determine how their activities or may not impact on Historic MPAs.

Our leaflet ‘Historic Marine Protected Areas, a guide for visitor, investigators and managers’ also provides useful information on Historic MPAs.

For specific advice, public authorities and sea-users are encouraged to make early contact with Historic Environment Scotland’s strategic heritage management team.

Contact Us

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH5 3EH
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8600

Contact Marine Scotland

Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team
PO Box 101
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB
Tel: +44 (0)1224 295579