What's biodiversity?

How you can help to protect Scotland's biodiversity. 

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity just means the variety of life, and the variety of living things we have in Scotland is simply amazing! Protecting biodiversity means looking after all the different types of animals, plants, insects and fish and landscapes and making sure everything has what it needs to be healthy and happy.

Biodiversity is really important because if there’s too few of a particular insect or a plant in an area, it can upset the balance of the ecosystem. If there weren’t many spiders around to eat flies, there would be far more flies annoying us. If there weren’t enough ladybirds to eat aphids, it would be hard to grow healthy roses.

Keeping our biodiversity safe is important for us if we want to make sure we have clean air, and clear water, and that we can continue to enjoy our parks, woods, rivers, beaches and natural landscapes.

Biodiversity begins with a 'B'...

Scottish Natural Heritage plays a lead role in protecting Scotland's biodiversity. They makes sure that species or habitats that are under threat get protection through legislation.

There are also loads of ways you can help to protect Scotland's biodiversity yourself.

Take a look at the Biodiversity begins with a B video, which highlights the simple actions we can do the support bees and biodiversity, or have a look at the top tips for better biodiversity below.

Top tips for better biodiversity

  • Start gardening - Growing wild flowers and keeping an area of your grass long will mean that animals and insects can enjoy your garden more. You can also protect the biodiversity in your garden, by avoiding chemical fertilisers or pesticides in the garden and buying peat-free compost. You can find out more on our Make your Garden Wildlife Friendly page.
  • Eat local and seasonal food - Buying and eating local or seasonal food is better for biodiversity, as well as your carbon footprint. If we are growing and eating our own food it means we are looking after and protecting our soil, water, air and animals. Why not have a go at growing your own food, in your garden or on a window ledge? You can also find out more about seasonal food on our Eating Local, Eating Seasonal page.
  • Explore nature near you - Nature can be found everywhere, even on your doorstep. There are loads of places to visit, why not have a trip to your local park, woods, beach or nature reserve and see what you discover.  Find out more at Enjoying the Outdoors.