Â© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015. Anion binding selectivity can often be controlled by judicious arrangement of recognition moieties around an anion of interest. Indeed, nature takes advantage of large peptides/proteins to provide highly efficient and selective anion receptors using a small number of amino acid building blocks placed in a precise arrangement. Cyclic peptides are ideal synthetic scaffolds to position binding residues in a similarly preorganised manner as their synthetic versatility and rigidified structure allows precise control over their size and shape. This review summarises the recent use of such cyclic peptide scaffolds as receptors for various anionic species.