Scottish Natural Heritage SNH


Caches in nature reserves or Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the UK must have permission. The SNH is the government body that oversees the natural resources in Scotland and includes scheduling important sites giving them legal protection in law. Among these are Local and National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The SNH website will show information about the area which may help you with getting permission. There is an interactive map that lets you search by coordinates for locations.

Please note in Scotland SNH cannot give permission for such locations, that must be obtained from the landowner or site management.

Interactive Map

The interactive map lets you search by area name, town or coordinates. You need to select the area type you are looking for then click the search button. The location is shown with the area type as coloured layers. Clicking the marker will tell you what is there. For more information (which may include who to contact) you need to then search the SNH database.

Click here to open the interactive map.

Please see the screen shot below. Select the area type from the drop down in the Table of Contents. You need to select the following layers:

Land then tick the boxes for Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Local Nature Reserve and National Nature Reserve. A pop up box appears on the right showing the colors of the layers you've selected.

Enter the coordinates (or postcode, placename) and click the Search button. The coordinate example shown is for Loch Leven. Click the yellow diamond marker for details of what area is, in this case Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. You can click the map anywhere for details of what's there.

Getting Coordinates for the Interactive Map

The map uses coordinates in the OS GB format as shown on OS maps such as the Landranger series. Both Streetmap and Bing OS maps will give you these coordinates. Click here to find out how to do this.

Searching the SNH database

You can search by name or area type. You cannot search by coordinates. You can get the area type and name from the interactive map as shown above.

Click here to open the SNH website. Enter the search details. In this case it is for Loch Leven National Nature Reserve