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Biodiversity & conservation

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Nature and the climate

Healthy habitats, iconic species, rare plants and ancient monuments. These all contribute to a vital sense of place and belonging, whether they’re found on the doorstep of our cities or in the furthest reaches of our uplands. We're ensuring the natural and cultural heritage on the land we manage is protected, conserved and enhanced. 

And it is vital that we do so.  There is no viable pathway to keeping 1.5°C of global warming in reach that does not involve protecting and restoring nature on an unprecedented scale. The natural environment removes around half of man-made greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere each year, and so we rely on the resilience of nature to keep absorbing the emissions we produce.

Birch woodland with ground covered in green plants

The scale of our national forests and land allows us to manage, restore and enhance whole landscapes. In fact, we look after 9% of all Scotland. The diversity of this area means we care for a range of rare and threatened species, and many significant historic assets. We protect and conserve habitats, tackle invasive species, monitor key species, and record the historic environment. The way we manage our forests and land also helps to reduce Scotland’s environmental footprint and mitigate the disruption caused by a changing climate.

Our environment underpins everything we do, and we work to create a balance in every area we manage. Scotland’s rich and diverse forests are important natural assets. As custodians, their continuing health and improvement is a vital part of our work.

We are committed to safeguarding our most special places, both large and small, by:

  • Undertaking sustainable land management to benefit people and communities
  • Enhancing biodiversity through landscape-scale management
  • Contributing to the Scottish Government’s climate change targets
  • Complementing and balancing the forestry and land management being undertaken by other land managers

Learn about our work

The following pages describe our work and explore a number of detailed case studies.

Juniper berriesWildlife conservation

Learn about our work to help secure the futures of Scotland's iconic flora and fauna.

Wildlife conservation


Dam made of sticks across a streamHabitat conservation

Learn how we manage a rich tapestry of diverse habitats to provide a home for a wide variety of wildlife.

Habitat conservation


A standing stone and ruined cottage at KnapdaleHistoric environment conservation

Just as we care for the natural environment, we are responsible for looking after historic landscapes that contain many sites of archaeological interest.

Historic environment conservation


Bog cottonBiodiversity

Biodiversity - what is it, where is it, and what are we doing to conserve and enhance it?



Green trees growing on a very steep slope under a blue skyForest resilience

We're adapting how we work to make Scotland's forest more resilient to the effects of the Climate Emergency. Find out how.

Forest resilience


Rainbow over peat bogPeatlands

Peatland, or bogs, are wetlands that support several habitats and species that are important for biodiversity and conservation.