World Heritage Site

St Kilda is a very special place and has a number of designations that protect its landscape, habitats, wildlife, buildings and archaeology, all of which recognise the need to protect the outstanding natural and cultural heritage.

In 1986 St Kilda was designated by UNESCO as Scotland’s first World Heritage Site, confirming an international obligation on the UK government to ensure the natural heritage of the islands is protected and preserved. This was extended in 2004 to include the surrounding marine environment, and in 2005 St Kilda was awarded dual World Heritage Site status for its natural and cultural significance.

St Kilda is the only site in the UK to have mixed World Heritage status and one of only 39 in the world.

Find out more about why St Kilda is inscribed on the World Heritage Site list

This exceptional significance means it is essential that its management balances these different conservation needs as well as allowing people to visit and enjoy the islands, and so partners from Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Ministry of Defence are involved in decision-making processes. Working together, the partners will ensure that the islands continue to be protected, cared for and enjoyed.

Below, you can download a copy of our Management Plan for the St Kilda World Heritage Site for the years 2022–32, which sets out what needs to be achieved and how this will happen over the next decade.

Through this plan, we will take full responsibility for passing the site onto future generations in the best possible condition. We will contribute to a fairer and better world through linking the plan’s outcomes to the United Nations Strategic Development Goals, that aim to take action to: combat climate change; conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources; and, protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.


Download a copy of the St Kilda World Heritage Site Management Plan 2022–2032 (in English)


Download a copy of the St Kilda World Heritage Site Management Plan 2022–2032 (in Gaelic)