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A national map showing forest habitat networks (classified by network size) for moderately mobile (1km dispersal) woodland generalists


The Scottish Forestry Strategy outlined a major aspiration to develop forest habitat networks (FHNs) through the restoration and improvement of existing woodland and the incorporation of targeted new planting. It is expected that in the longer term such measures will reverse the effects of fragmentation on woodland biodiversity.

The Habitat Network Tool from BEETLE (Biological and Environmental Evaluation Tools for Landscape Ecology) uses a focal species approach to assess the functional connectivity of habitat for specific and generic focal species.

The Scotland FHN project expanded on the Scottish Borders and West Lothian pilot studies to indicate the presence and spatial extent of FHNs at the national and regional scale. The outputs have assisted in targeting grants and incentives for woodland expansion.


The project developed a plan to support the strategic development and integration of FHNs and open habitat networks in Scotland.

The project produced scenario maps, to help the Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage advise on the expansion and restoration of habitats to protect, and enhance, functional connectivity for woodland and open ground species.



Map (left) shows the extent of habitat networks for mobile woodland generalists in the fragmented woodlands of North Aberdeenshire, Banff and Buchan.

Compare the Buchan map with the size and extent of the functionally connected forest habitat network for mobile woodland generalists in the Spey Valley (below).

Spey Valley



  • Develop the theoretical basis, based on BEETLE, for a modelling tool to demonstrate habitat networks based on focal species connectivity
  • Produce a national map for Scotland showing existing woodland and open habitat networks
  • Produce a range of scenario maps for the different regions of Scotland indicating: expansion opportunities and constraints for focal species.


National map of habitat networks for woodland and open ground generalists and specialists – April 2005

Regional maps for:

National final report (PDF-4665K) – February 2008

What’s of interest

The research is funded by:
Forestry Commission (GB)
Forestry Commission (Scotland)
Scottish Natural Heritage

Related pages

Useful sites

Forestry Staff DarrenMoseley.6641ff7a.fill 600x600 1
Darren Moseley

Head of Land Use & Ecosystem Services