SLA –Developing Landscape Indicators- Draft Findings and recommendations to the Scottish Government – 9th February 2022
In October 2021 the outputs of the SLA short term working groups were presented at a debate on 7th October 2021 to gather membership views and establish an agreed SLA response to assist the Scottish Government moving forward on four landscape and place public policy opportunities in order to strengthen the role in delivering Scotland’s national outcomes and Scotland’s contribution to embedding the principles of the European Landscape Convention and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Working Group 4 focussed on developing landscape indicators– how we measure the health, value and quality of our landscapes. As the National Performance Framework recognises, indicators are essential for planning public policies and directing public funding. The existing physical indicators for landscape are recognised as a good starting point, and for public agencies a necessary one. But for better landscape management, the working group identified three areas for development:
- Better measurement of landscape condition down to regional and local level, to help inform land use decisions at the appropriate level;
- Developing our vocabulary to better capture why landscapes matter to people and help us understand the intangible values of our landscapes, as well as their more readily measurable physical features; and
- Engaging with communities on land use decisions using landscape as the prism – people respond to landscapes, and within those conversations are the seeds of many other discussions, about economic use, nature, access, recreation, and culture.