Most SSSIs are privately owned and managed as parts of working farms and estates.
The 1,450 or so sites are the essential building blocks of Scotland's protected places for nature and form part of a wider GB series. Many are also Natura sites and some are managed as national or local nature reserves.
Many SSSIs are popular places for walking, birdwatching and other recreational pursuits. For example, many of our highest mountain tops (Munros) are in SSSIs and many kilometres of public paths run through SSSIs. Many are rarely visited corners of farms, while others – like Arthur’s Seat Volcano (Edinburgh) or the Fossil Grove (Whiteinch, Glasgow) – attract many thousands of people each year.