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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 is defined by its ability to sustain and fulfil a variety of uses and 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.

Our aim is to protect, maintain and restore Scotland’s land quality by providing expert guidance on good practice of land management and through a variety of regulations.

Find out more about how we protect and improve Scotland’s land and soil in this section.