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Historic Scotland Launch Consultation On Historic Marine Environment

5 March 2008

Scottish Ministers today (Wednesday, 5 March) unveiled their proposals for policy on the marine historic environment and potential new legislation to protect it.

It is the latest in the Government’s Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) series produced by Historic Scotland.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP said: “The launch of the SHEP consultation is a significant step forward in establishing and safeguarding the future of Scotland’s marine historic environment.

“By enabling discussion with stakeholders, this consultation will help to provide the Scottish Government with informed policies to work towards our aspiration for a marine historic environment that is better-defined and recorded, safeguarded and understood, with a positive contribution to make to the economic and cultural fabric of today’s Scotland”

New legislation to protect the marine historic environment is proposed for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This consultation proposes broadly similar legislation for Scotland to be embedded within a proposed Scottish Marine Bill. The new legislation would broaden the range of marine historic assets that can be designated on the basis of ‘national importance’, establish mechanisms for consultation prior to designation, and appeal procedures’.

Dr Gordon Barclay, Head of National Policy, said “Our marine environment has a historical dimension that contributes to its quality and character. People want to see the most important marine historic assets safeguarded and used sustainably for the benefit of current and future generations. These policies and proposals for more effective legislation - within the wider Scottish Marine Bill - provide us with a framework to achieve this”.

The 12-week consultation period invites views, from the public, on Scottish Ministers’ policies for the marine historic environment via online, written submission or by email. The responses from the consultation will help form the basis of the policy paper which will be released, by Ministers, in final form in 2009.

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.

·The SHEP builds on many of the principles defined in Historic Scotland Operational Policy Paper HP6 Conserving the Underwater Heritage [1999] and should also be considered in the context of an extensive consultation carried out in 2004–05 by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Devolved Administrations, Protecting the Marine Historic Environment, Making the System Work Better

·The Marine SHEP is one of 12 policy papers, including new policies for Scheduled Monument Consent, Battlefields and Listed Building Consent, being prepared by Historic Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and will be released throughout 2008/09. It can be viewed at

·Shortly after the paper went to press Northern Ireland announced that it was withdrawing from the UK wide Heritage Bill referred to in Annex C, 2.3.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Historic Scotland
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873