The biodiversity resource of South Lanarkshire includes ecosystems, habitats, species and protected sites. For more information on our Biodiversity Assets, please view the Biodiversity Assets Plan.
Protected Sites- Designated
A number of sites in South Lanarkshire are protected at a UK or European level. These sites represent some of the most important areas for biodiversity in the country and, as such, are protected by legislation. Scottish Natural Heritage has overall responsibility for the monitoring of these sites. Further information can be found on the SNH website. South Lanarkshire Council also keeps a record of the status of designated sites within the area and produces a State of the Environment Report, which provides data on a range of environmental issues including designated sites.
Protected Sites- Local
The South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Partnership believes that it is important to conserve and enhance all species and habitats, not just those which are rare or threatened. Our approach is to conserve the habitats in which species occur, thereby protecting all species. We place a particular significance upon habitats which are irreplaceable in human timescales. These include peatlands, ancient woodlands and freshwaters. A suite of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) were inherited by South Lanarkshire Council upon its formation in 1996. These sites are now in various states of management, and some have been lost entirely. Rather than designate new sites, the Council is committed to following the Biodiversity Assets approach, giving the highest level of protection to irreplaceable sites through the Local Development Plan and associated documents. For more information visit the South Lanarkshire Council's website.
Ideally, all species would be recorded and their distribution mapped and we would have comprehensive maps which show where different habitats occur and what condition they are in. In reality, biodiversity assets are poorly recorded at present. As South Lanarkshire does not have a biological records centre, we rely heavily on biological records held by groups and individuals. The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) collects and collates species records for the whole of the UK. The data can be accessed at the NBN Gateway. A number of environmental organisations also hold regular surveys for particular species groups. If you are interested in taking part, please visit the "get involved" section of this site.
Biodiversity Assets Guidance
The South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Partnership is trialling a new approach to the conservation of "wider biodiversity" through the Planning system. This draft guidance document provides advice on how to use the new approach and accompanies the draft Supplementary Guidance on Built and Natural Heritage, published by South Lanarkshire Council. For further information please contact SLC's Countryside and Greenspace Service on 01698 426213.