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New website promotes natural and historic attractions

5 March 2013

A new website which aims to encourage more people to explore Scotland’s stunning historic and natural attractions was launched today by Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Called Scotland’s Protected Places, it was unveiled as part of the Year of Natural Scotland celebrations.  It is the result of a partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Historic Scotland (HS). gives a map-based directory of more than 500 places and a brief overview of Scotland’s historic and natural heritage.  It sets out information clearly and concisely and contains a wealth of facts and figures on everything from ancient monuments to the best places to see Scotland’s stunning wildlife.

Browsers can use the ‘explore’ page to discover famous landmarks like Calanais Standing Stones on Lewis and other gems like Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve in Dumfries, along with the other 500 or so places to visit.  The service is being developed, with more places being added.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland’s historic and natural heritage are an integral component of what makes Scotland unique as well as being vital to our tourism sector and the wider economy. This new website will give tourists better opportunities to fully explore all that Scotland has to offer.

“If you know of a protected area that is not already included we would love to hear from you.”

Andrew Bachell, SNH’s director of operations, said: “We hope that people enjoy the website and maybe find a few places to visit that they may not have been previously aware of.”

The protected places website aims to raise awareness of special sites for nature and history and support socio-economic development based on their sustainable use.

Media inquiries: Fergus Macneill, SNH Public Relations: 01463 725 021

Scotland’s Protected Places website:

The website links with SNH, HS and other organisations’ sites to combine information about exploring Scotland’s protected places.

Among the 500 or so of Scotland’s protected places currently listed are scheduled ancient monuments, listed buildings, gardens and designed landscapes; national, regional and country parks, national and local nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest and Natura sites managed as nature reserves by many conservation groups including Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Woodland Trust Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • Scottish Natural Heritage is the government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Our role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland's nature now and in the future. Visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @SNH_Tweets

                                                        Year of Natural Scotland logo linking to

For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827