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Forestry Banner Habitat Network Analysis Service

Forest Research are the leading UK research organisation on the development of spatial analysis techniques for habitat networks and have an excellent  track record of working with and delivering tailored habitat network analyses.

What are habitat networks, and why are they important?

Habitat networks are configurations of habitat that allows species to move and disperse through a landscape and are intended to reverse the decline in biodiversity due to habitat fragmentation by linking and expanding habitats which are capable of sustaining a greater biodiversity. Networks can be produced for a particular type of habitat, e.g. broadleaved woodland, neutral grassland.

Planning Authorities have a duty of care to species and their habitats under UK law. The country conservation agencies provide general written guidance for planners and developers, but this lacks detailed, fine-scale habitat maps or data. Thus a paucity of information on the current distribution, status and potential occupancy of habitats by protected species means that the ecological impact of development is often not properly measured or mitigated.

Service overview

We have developed a habitat network tool which can provide Planning Authorities, conservation agencies and developers with habitat network information for protected species and for broader habitat types. Tailored analyses can be undertaken to help identify opportunities for enhancing landscape connectivity. A spatial database and associated modelling tools have been produced to enable application across different regions of the UK.

Features and benefits

  • Tailored:  for your requirements, whether strategic, exploratory or practical
  • Expertise: significant specialist expertise in habitat network design and other aspects of spatial ecology
  • Track record: over 20 habitat networks designed since 2003
  • Versatility of scale: networks designed at a scale from national to local according to your needs
  • Quality assured: our work conforms to the Joint Code of Practice for Research
  • Satisfied customers: our service can be tailored to suit any type of customer, from landowner to NGOs to planning authorities to developers.

Costs and charges

Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

We work with you to develop a habitat network specification that meets your needs and a costing for the work.


To find out more about this service, please contact:

Darren Moseley