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Aberdeenshire Regional Land Use Pilot


  1. Read the information about the policy areas and the policy sliders to familiarise yourself with what they mean.
  2. Go to the Tool by clicking on one of the buttons above (we suggest you start with the woodland expansion).
  3. The tool predicts woodland suitability across Aberdeenshire and you can pan and zoom in and out as well as switch to an aerial view.
  4. When you adjust the slider a new map will appear with a different suitability distribution.
  5. Associated with this are maps of sediment run off, nitrogen retention and carbon stocks which represent the difference between the baseline model and the values predicted from the map you have created in this scenario by altering the sliders.
  6. Click on the feedback link to create a blank email addressed to us and send us your comments.

The initial map shows the full range of suitability for woodland expansion in Aberdeenshire. This is a relative rather than absolute representation and the suitability is shown as ranging from minimal suitability (red) to maximum suitability (bright green) for the model being reviewed. Using the four option buttons in the upper right of the page you can switch between this first view (Full Distribution) and views of only the most suitable 4,500 or 9,000 or 18,000 hectares at the click of your mouse.

The histograms show the proportion (%) of land in each suitability class (suitability distribution) for Aberdeenshire for the Full Distribution. The lower histogram is a zoomed in version of the upper one (but still reporting on Aberdeenshire) and only shows the proportion of pixels with the highest suitability which amount to 4 500 ha woodland (green) 9 000 ha of woodland (green + pink) or 18 000 ha (green + pink + orange).

The maps produced do not make predictions for some areas because these have been excluded. For example, areas that already have woodland (a presumption against planting woodland where it already exists) and excluding areas in the Local Development Plan that are earmarked for development.

There is the option to overlay protected area boundaries (SPAs, SACs, SSSIs, NNRs Ramsar sites) to explore how the suitability for woodland intersects with the objectives of these areas. This uses a live data service provided by Scottish Natural Heritage.