National Scenic Areas

Our 3 National Scenic Areas (NSAs) of outstanding scenic value, how they are managed and where to find them.

A National Scenic Areas (NSA) is an area of outstanding scenic value in Scotland. NSAs are administered by NatureScot on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

There are 3 NSAs in Dumfries and Galloway, in:

  • Fleet Valley
  • East Stewartry Coast
  • Nith Estuary

Fleet Valley NSA

The Fleet Valley rises gently from sandy beaches on the coast, through a narrow farmed valley to open hills. Between the bay and the valley lies the historic town of Gatehouse of Fleet, surrounded by trees and ancient woodland.

View a map of Fleet Valley NSA on the NatureScot website

East Stewartry Coast NSA

On the East Stewartry Coast sea cliffs, rocky shore and sheltered sandy bays are surrounded and enclosed by hills. The River Urr meanders through the rich pattern of farmland, and picturesque villages are situated along the coast.

View a map of the East Stewarty Coast NSA on the NatureScot website

Nith Estuary NSA

Criffel dominates the Nith Estuary as it rises steeply from the extensive tidal flats and merse. Evidence of the past is imprinted on the landscape with Caerlaverock Castle and Sweetheart Abbey providing distinct landmarks.

View a map of the Nith Estuary NSA on the NatureScot website

NSAs and planning development

We have a management strategy for each of our local NSAs. These strategies help to protect our NSAs from inappropriate development.

Download our NSA management strategies.

Scottish Natural Heritage has endorsed the strategies and they now act as supplementary guidance to our Local Development Plan.