SCOTLAND'S new heritage body is inviting people to tell them how they would like to safeguard some of the country's greatest historical assets.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the new leading public body for the country’s historic environment, has today launched its first public consultation.

It is asking individuals and groups to comment on a draft Corporate Plan which outlines the organisation's approach over the next three years.

The organisation brings together two of Scotland's leading heritage bodies, Historic Scotland and The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments Scotland.

It is responsible for more than 300 properties across the country including Edinburgh Castle, as well as an extensive body of historical archives and collections.

It will also play a key role in delivering Scotland's first strategy for the Historic Environment, ‘Our Place in Time’ and collaborate with communities across the country.

Chairwoman of HES, Jane Ryder, OBE, said: "Our historic environment is not owned by one group or organisation but by the people of Scotland, and a critically important reflection of this is creating a dialogue with people and up and down the country to help inform our approach.

"Our vision is that Scotland’s heritage is cherished, understood, shared and enjoyed by everyone.

"We want to work collaboratively in constructive and creative ways to grow our knowledge and understanding of our historic environment as well as encouraging wider engagement, participation in, and enjoyment of the historic environment, including those who may have never engaged with the sector before.

"By doing so we will make Scotland a better place to live, work, invest, and visit – protecting and celebrating our past whilst shaping our future.

"We look forward to receiving views over the coming weeks and months."

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary, for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: "As well as being central to telling the story of our nation, the historic environment already helps to support more than 60,000 jobs, contributes well over £2 billion a year to Scotland’s economy, and contributes to the wellbeing of our communities.

"Scotland’s heritage belongs to everyone, and this consultation gives people all over the country a chance to shape how our new heritage body, Historic Environment Scotland, will work over the next three years."

The consultation will run until the week commencing February 8 2016. For more information visit