Data Layers release: Combined Habitat Networks by Natural England

From July 2021, The Land App now hosts the Habitat Networks (Combined) dataset from Natural England. Showing the location of priority habitats, plus additional data for habitat restoration-creation, restorable habitat, plus fragmentation action, and network enhancement and expansion zones. The habitat network maps seek to apply the best evidence and principles and to use the best available nationally consistent spatial data. 

Natural England explains:

“The data comprises of:

  • Habitat Components: – The location of existing patches of a Priority habitat, built of main baseline data from Priority Habitat Inventories (PHI). 
  • Associated habitat – The location of additional habitat that naturally forms mosaics with the primary habitat e.g. habitats that are most likely to form ecological mosaics possibly used by species associated with the primary habitat.
  • Habitat creation – The locations where habitat creation or restoration is known to occur, this is primarily sites under relevant agri-environment options. 
  • Restorable habitat – Sites where data suggests small fragments of the primary habitat or degraded habitat exists and where restoration may be possible, this is primarily developed from information held within the current PHI. 
  • Network Zones:
    • Network Enhancement Zone 1 – Land within close proximity to the existing habitat components that are more likely to be suitable for habitat re-creation for the particular habitat. These areas are primarily based on soils but in many cases has been refined by also using other data such as hydrology, altitude and proximity to the coast. 
    • Network Enhancement Zone 2 – Land within close proximity to the existing habitat components that are unlikely to be suitable for habitat re-creation but where other types of habitat may be created or land management may be enhanced including delivery of suitable Green Infrastructure. 
    • ‘Fragmentation Action Zone – Land immediately adjoining existing habitat patches that are small or have an excessive edge to area ratio where habitat creation is likely to help reduce the effects of habitat fragmentation. 
    • Network Expansion Zone – Land within relatively close proximity to the Network Enhancement Zones 1 & 2 that are more likely to be suitable for habitat creation for the particular habitat and identifying possible locations for connecting and linking up networks across a landscape.”

Team Land App is hoping that this layer encourages further restoration of existing Priority Habitat, plus allows users to easily identify where other pieces of land may be strategically significant. For more information, please visit:

Attribution statement: © Natural England copyright. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right [2021].