Biodiversity

Land use strategy draft framework

Pilot regional land use strategy (LUS) frameworks

The Scottish Government initiated two LUS pilots, one in Scottish Borders and one in Aberdeenshire, involving local authorities to develop a regional land use framework.

Purpose

The aim of the framework was to test the principles of the national LUS at a local level to see how they can be realised in a practical way. This was based on an ecosystem approach that may guide decisions that help integrate land management that could make best use of the land.

The pilots will help inform the revised national land use strategy, published in 2016. For more information on this strategy visit the Scottish Government website.

Partners

We worked in close partnership with the Tweed Forum who co-ordinated the engagement with stakeholders. Further information and updates on the pilot can be found on the tweed forum website.

Timescale

The pilots ran from 2013 until spring 2015. A follow on Phase 2 project is underway, managed by us working with Tweed Forum. This will focus on investigating integration of LUS framework and mapping outputs into our programmes such as flood protection, woodland strategy and biodiversity offsets, and a further evaluation of the mapping tool to investigate whether it can help inform the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and further engagement with a local catchment partnership.

Further updates on phase 2 of the pilot can be found on the tweed forum website.

Outputs

A key output of the pilot was the production of a draft framework. The purpose of the framework is to consider the possible impacts of climate change an aims to enable more informed and integrated decisions about how land is used sustainably.

The framework

  • is non-statutory and is not our formal policy
  • includes new information in a mapped form on ecosystem goods and services provided by land use in the Scottish Borders
  • is an advisory document providing information on the process involved
  • is a guide to how land use might impact on other potential benefits from the same land
  • is supported by a set of maps (see below)
  • is built around key policy drivers connected with land use and the impacts of climate change based on ecosystem services, including the delivery of food production, woodland expansion, reduction of flood risk, improvement of water quality, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaption.

Supporting documents

Further technical detail on the mapping and methodology employed to develop the different sets of maps, as described above, can be found in a set of three mapping reports.

Maps

A set of indicative maps has been produce that:

  • show the stock of natural capital the land may currently provide
  • show the opportunity to extend an ecosystem service
  • identify where opportunities overlap to generate potential multiple benefits
  • identify potential constraints with existing land use, primarily agriculture