Scotland's land supports our green farmlands and our sprawling cities. The land sustains a diverse range of industries vital to Scotland’s economic health, while the landscape is a valuable resource, providing a wide range of leisure activities and an environment for all to enjoy. 

Scotland’s natural diversity stems from a land mass of around 78,000km² and 10,000km of coastline and inhabited islands. Land quality, defined by its ability to sustain and fulfil a variety of uses, is dependent on its make up and functionality. Through its ability to filter and retain nutrients, the land can:

  • protect air and water quality
  • support habitats
  • enhance biodiversity
  • play a part in flood risk management  

Soil quality forms an essential part of the carbon cycle -  it can store carbon, but under certain circumstances it can be a source of greenhouse gases.

SEPA’s aim is to protect, maintain and restore Scotland’s land quality. This is done by providing expert guidance on good practice of land use and through a variety of regulations. The information provided on all sectors relates to land use and to relevant topics and activities.

The document EP-054: SEPA Position Statement on Land Protection clarifies how we engage with land-related issues to support the priorities of the Scottish Government.