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State and trend assessment summaries are available for 2014 across five main themes. Independent expert assessments of current state and future trends are shown as a series of spectrum diagrams.

State and trend assessment - state State and trend assessment - trend


The assessments are set out in the form of a scorecard below.

State of the environment 2014 On the whole, Scotland’s environment is of good quality
Air   Air quality in urban areas has improved
Air quality Air quality - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / improving

Our understanding of the sources and impacts of air pollution has improved over the years and applying it has led to better air quality in some areas. However, there are still areas in Scotland where poor air quality affects human health and the environment.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish air quality datasets
European air quality datasets

Water   Freshwaters and seas are generally in good condition
Coastal waters Coastal waters - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Stable / declining

Almost all (97%) of Scotland’s coastal waters are in good or high condition, but there are local impacts from commercial fishing, aquaculture and diffuse pollution. Growth in industries such as aquaculture and renewable energy may increase pressure on coastal waters.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water body classification
Nutrients in transitional, coastal and marine waters

Estuaries Estuaries - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Improving

Scottish estuaries are important resources for wildlife and humans, and 85% are in good or high environmental condition. However, they remain under pressure from human activity, particularly from nutrient enrichment and the damaging impacts of climate change.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water body classification

Freshwater lochs Freshwater lochs - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Stable / improving

Scotland’s lochs are an important part of our landscape and provide water for drinking and power generation as well as space for recreation. They are generally in good condition.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water body classification
Waterbase - Lakes European data

Rivers & canals Rivers and canals - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / improving

Scotland’s river quality has improved in recent decades. Almost half of our rivers are now of good or better quality. Plans are in place to improve the remaining poorer-quality rivers.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Water body classification
Scottish river water quality
Waterbase - Rivers European data

Rivers & lochs Rivers and lochs - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Stable / improving

Scotland’s freshwaters provide a range of habitats for plants and animals. Overall, freshwater habitats and species are in good condition. However, while some individual habitats and species are improving, others are still under pressure.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish biodiversity datasets
Species of European interest
European species diversity

Land  

Scotland’s highly diverse landforms, rocks and soils are the foundation of our landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage

Crops & livestock Crops and livestock - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / declining

Scotland produces a range of crops and livestock. Our agricultural industry provides the basic ingredients for our food and drink industry, and is important for our health, environment and economy – particularly in our rural communities.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish agriculture datasets
European gross nutrient balance (CSI 025)

Farmland Farmland - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend:Stable / declining

Scotland’s farmland is highly varied and contains a wide range of habitats for wildlife. However, populations of some birds and insects are in decline. Intensive land management is the main challenge to farmland wildlife.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scottish organic farming
European organic farming (CSI 026)

Fossil fuels & minerals Fossil fuels and minerals - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable
Scotland has a wide range of geological resources that make a major contribution to the economy. They are used in the energy, construction and manufacturing industries and need to be carefully managed to ensure they are available for future generations.
Mountains & uplands Mountains and uplands - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / declining
Scotland's uplands contain our wildest places and some of our rarest plants and animals. The condition of many upland habitats is beginning to improve as action is taken to protect and manage them.
Rocks & landforms Rocks and landforms - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Stable / declining

Scotland’s rocks and landforms provide a range of benefits and help us to understand how the Earth has evolved. Our protected Earth science features are almost all in good condition, but we know little about the state of rocks and landforms outside protected sites.

Soils Soils - 2014 assessment State: Good
Trend: Not assessed

Scotland’s soils are diverse and rich in carbon; they are a vital natural resource providing a range of essential benefits and need to be protected. We have good information about some soil properties in some parts of the country. However, there is a lack of trend data.

Datasets likely to be of interest

National soils inventory for Scotland
European soil map

Wetlands Wetlands - 2014 assessment State: Poor
Trend: Stable / declining
 
Woodlands & forests Woodlands and forests - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / declining

Scotland’s woodlands and forests support a wide range of important plants and animals. For wildlife, our woodlands are in a moderately good condition now and are likely to improve in the future.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Standing volume of Scottish timber harvested
Forestry Commission woodland statistics
Forests in Europe
Intensity of forestry in EEA member countries

People & the environment   Almost 70% of Scotland’s people live in urban areas
Cities, towns and greenspaces Cities, towns and greenspaces - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / improving

Most people in Scotland live in its towns, cities and city regions. A good-quality urban environment is a substantial factor in people’s health and well-being.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scotland's Outdoors - National indicator

Energy Energy - 2014 assessment State: Poor
Trend: Improving

Energy in Scotland is changing and will continue to do so as we strive towards a low carbon future.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scotland: Amount of electricity generated by energy source 2000 – 2012
Europe: Share of electricity production by fuel type in 2009

Historic environment Historic environment - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable
Scotland's historic environment includes thousands of historic buildings and monuments, many of which are unique and irreplaceable. They attract millions of visitors every year and generate income and jobs.
Waste Waste - 2014 assessment State: Moderate
Trend: Stable / improving
Waste is produced by households and businesses. Progress is being made to reduce waste and increase recycling in Scotland, providing environmental and economic benefits.
Climate   Scotland generally has cool summers, mild winters and rain falls throughout the year. Over the last century it has become warmer, with drier summers, wetter winters and more frequent heavy rainfall.
Climate   State: Good
Trend: Rapidly changing

Over the last 100 years it has become warmer, while altered precipitation patterns have led to drier summers, wetter winters and more frequent heavy rainfall. Changes in our climate over the next few decades are unavoidable because of the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. When viewed over long-term averages, we expect the UK to experience more milder wetter winters and more hotter drier summers in the future. These changes in climate and their effect on our weather will have major implications for our way of life.

Datasets likely to be of interest

Scotland's climate trends handbook (2014)
UK Climate Change Projections (UKCP09)
Scottish greenhouse gas inventory for 1990-2014

 


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