Important Habitats for Biodiversity – our Local Biodiversity Action Plan

North East Scotland has a great variety of habitat types providing for a huge range of different species.

Habitats – what you need to know

The Biodiversity Partnership has developed six broad habitat statements which give a summary of the habitats found in the area, useful information on habitat status and an outline of some of the species they support. The statements also illustrate the importance of each habitat group and opportunities to secure and enhance each habitat for the future.

These habitat statements build on the previous Local Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat and Species Plans and are intended to be used by ALL DEVELOPERS to identify important habitats and opportunities for enhancement. They will be used by local authorities to provide the local context for advice on biodiversity in relation to planning, design and development and by partner organisations to guide future action and priorities for biodiversity conservation and enhancement.

Foreword and Introduction to the Statements
Foreword by Roger Owen (Chair of NESBiP) and Introduction to the purpose of the habitat statements.

Wetlands Habitat Statement
Includes rivers and burns, lochs and ponds, lowland raised bogs, fens, reedbeds, lowland wet grassland.

Woodlands Habitat Statement
Includes upland birch woodland, lowland mixed deciduous woodland, wet woodland, riparian woodland, oak woodland, upland mixed ash, wood pasture and parkland, native pine woodland, planted coniferous woodland, scrub and hedgerows.

Marine and Coastal Statement
Includes sand, gravel and mud dominated habitats out to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, as well as inland habitats influenced by the sea including sand dunes, shingle banks, maritime cliffs as well as estuarine mud and rock habitats.

Grasslands Statement
Includes improved grassland, acid grassland, neutral grassland, amenity grassland, golf courses and roadside verges.

Upland Heathland Statement
Upland heathland, also known as heather moorland, includes wet and dry heath plant communities and can occur in mosaic with acid grassland, blanket
bog and montane plant communities as well as with upland broadleaved woodlands.

Built Environment
Includes gardens, allotments, parks, playing fields, school grounds, golf courses, railway embankments, roadside verges, buildings and structures, development sites.


The Partnership is keen to gather feedback from developers and ecologists who are using these Habitat Statements, as to how you are using this information, and if the content or format can be improved upon.

Habitat maps – more information

The Habitat Statements include a large-scale map providing an overview of the distribution of each habitat. These maps should not be used to find individual habitats in relation to your area of interest. You can search for further detail on the location of each habitat type on Scotland’s Environment Web.

North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) has surveyed large areas of the North East and can provide detailed habitat survey data for these areas. Contact NESBReC to see if they have data for the area you are interested in by making a data request.

Connecting habitats and forming green networks

As well as protecting areas of existing habitat we also need to look at how habitats relate to each other and join to form an integrated habitat network. Development should prevent exiting habitats from being broken up into smaller areas. Importantly development can also have a key role in providing links to join existing habitats to form part of a Green Network. Green networks can bring important benefits for local residents such as improved public access, in addition to providing corridors for species to move through the landscape.

Scottish Woodland ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Scottish Woodland ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Development should prevent exiting habitats from being broken up into smaller areas – and can also have a key role in providing links to join existing habitats to form part of a Green Network

Emma Williams

Environment Planner at Aberdeenshire Council

Further Information

Information on key locations

Get to know our important locations

Information on our species

How to safeguard our local wildlife

Tools and resources

Online help for developers

Your biodiversity, your wellbeing

Find out why biodiversity is important to you