Land use framework maps

A set of indicative maps has been produced that show:

  • the stock of natural capital the land may currently provide through existing land use
  • the opportunities where an ecosystem service could be extended
  • overlapping opportunities to generate potential multiple benefits
  • potential constraints/interactions with existing land use, primarily agriculture

These maps can be viewed on an application on our Find It web-mapping service.

For each parcel of land the ecosystem service provision is dependent on data for four key elements:

  1. the habitat cover
  2. the underlying soils and geology
  3. where the parcel of land sits in the landscape, for example, hill slope or flood plain
  4. the management of the land

You can zoom in to the maps at the 1:25,000 scale to consider the options in a sub-catchment or local landscape. The data does not allow searches at the field by field scale.

Further guidance on how to use the mapping application is provided in a user manual.

The maps focus on the following ecosystem services:

Natural flood management

Improving water quality

Enhancing soil carbon

Enhancing biodiversity

What can I use the maps for?

You could consider using the maps for:

  • informing an SRDP application (Scottish Rural Development Programme)
  • developing biodiversity projects by environmental and local community groups
  • seeing how the wider countryside could be enhanced to support the network of designated sites (SSSI)
  • looking at how the supply of ecosystem services can help benefit our most vulnerable communities

The maps may be updated and other data sets may be added in due course.


We welcome your feedback on the mapping tool and particularly on how you have made use of it, what worked well and what could be improved.

Please send your comments to the Natural Heritage Team.