Advice and Support

Effects of scheduling on owners

Management, maintenance and further guidance for owners of scheduled monuments.

1 Overview

Scheduling does not affect land ownership – a scheduled monument remains the property of its owner. It also does not provide any additional right of access to the public.

Owners of scheduled monuments have no duty to maintain or improve management of their sites, though we do encourage this. We’re happy to advise on the availability of grants.

Find out about Historic Environment Scotland grants.

Our booklet for owners, occupiers and managers explains more about what scheduling means for you.

Download our booklet (English and Gaelic)

Owners, occupiers and managers are key to ensuring the survival of scheduled monuments. Your help in protecting these remains is a valuable contribution to Scotland’s future.

Ignorance is one of the greatest threats to our archaeological heritage.

Sites are damaged or neglected because people are unaware of:

  • the presence and/or extent of a scheduled monument
  • how important scheduled monuments are
  • what actions may cause damage to a scheduled monument

Once a monument is scheduled, consent is required from us for most works, including repairs. 

It is an offence to damage or carry out work, or to allow work to be carried out, on a scheduled monument without consent. 

It’s vital to ensure that everyone working on your land knows about the scheduled monuments and their extent on the ground, and understands their value. This includes contractors, who may be less aware of local features.

2 Monument management

Many scheduled monuments are stable and require little attention.

Some will benefit from simple changes in land use that will ensure no inadvertent damage.

Others will benefit from more proactive management. This will sometimes require access to specialist conservation skills.

Our field officers visit scheduled sites and their owners from time to time.

They will:

  • check the condition of the site
  • offer advice on monument management
  • ensure that everyone with a current interest in the site knows about its protection

The field officer can arrange for a Heritage Management officer to visit if there are issues that they can’t help with.

Owners and occupiers can download our free guide for more information about how we monitor schedule monuments or contact our Heritage Management team for advice at any time.


Heritage Directorate
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

Telephone: 0131 668 8716

3 Maintenance of scheduled monuments

You’re likely to need scheduled monument consent if you are repairing the monument. It’s easy to damage a monument through uninformed action or carry out other works.

Find out all about works on scheduled monuments.

4 Scottish Rural Development Programme

More than 80% of scheduled monuments are located on agricultural land and are affected by land management practices.

No specific funding for management works on scheduled monuments is available via the Scottish Rural Development Programme’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme. But a number of management options and capital items have the potential to offer dual benefits to both the environment and the long-term management of scheduled monuments.

Find out more in the Scotland Rural Development Programme [PDF, 2.55MB]

5 Further guidance


Managing Scotland’s Archaeological Heritage [PDF, 1.6MB]

Scotland Rural Development Programme [PDF, 706KB]

Metal detecting: Yes or no? Metal detecting, scheduled monuments and the law [PDF, 4.3MB]

Scheduled Monuments – A guide for owners, occupiers and managers (available in English and Gaelic)


Heritage Directorate
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

Telephone: 0131 668 8716