We manage around half of Scotland’s foreshore and almost all its seabed – and we give permission for a range of activities and developments in those areas. 

Beyond uses such as offshore energy, laying cables or pipelines and aquaculture, we issue leases, licences and consents for: 

  • ports and harbour development 
  • laying of moorings 
  • dredging and dumping of material from, and onto, the seabed 
  • coastal protection and flood defence works 
  • laying of outfall and intake pipes 
  • deployment of research equipment e.g. wave buoys, acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCPs), passive acoustic monitoring equipment 
  • seabed investigation work such as grab samples or boreholes to inform research or development activities 
  • filming on foreshore 

Licences, fees and consents  

For details of the licenses, other consents and fees involved in obtaining these permissions from us, please consult the sections below.

Applying for a licence

If you’d like to apply for a licence related to one of the activities above, please select the relevant form from our download list, complete it and email it our managing agents at scotland-marine@bidwells.co.uk.  

They will check your area of interest against our records to verify if and how your proposed activity is likely to affect Crown foreshore and seabed. They will also assess any potential impacts on our existing tenants. 

If your interest is in marine activity in the Orkney Marine Region, please contact our Pilot Programme Officer at seabed.assets@orkney.gov.ukYou can learn more about Crown Estate Scotland’s Local Management Pilot Programme here or at www.orkney.gov.uk/seabed.

Fees and terms of agreement

A fee is charged for all activities to cover the cost of processing the application.

In many cases, the fee will include a charge for the use of the seabed which reflects market value.  

The precise form of agreement and the fees applied will be dependent on the proposed activity. Our managing agents will discuss this with you.

Other consents

As well as an agreement with Crown Estate Scotland, you are likely to also require consent from statutory authorities/regulators e.g. the Marine Directorate of the Scottish Government, local authorities and/or a harbour authority.  

It is your responsibility to obtain these consents and securing a Crown Estate Scotland agreement is conditional on all other required consents being in place.