Natural England uses of data from the NBN Gateway
Natural England requires a robust biodiversity evidence base to support many areas of its work. The NBN Gateway provides Natural England with a regularly updated master set of records in a consistent format which is compatible with its in-house databases and GIS.
Natural England has a particular requirement for records of England’s most important, rare or threatened species which qualify for protection under national and European legislation. These are species which are designated under Section 41 of the NERC Act, The Habitats Directive or The Birds Directive, or which qualify as a SSSI interest feature.
The value of the NBN Gateway is in providing a single core data source for records of these 1,296 priority species. In December 2011, the NBN Gateway supplied Natural England with over 4.2 million records from 433 datasets provided by 87 organisations, in accordance with the data access agreements between those organisations and Natural England.
These species records will be used to guide the spatial targeting of Natural England projects across a range of initiatives, to maximise the effectiveness of their interventions for multiple priority species. These data will be particularly useful to inform:
• The spatial targeting of monitoring and surveillance effort of species for which Natural England have a statutory reporting requirement. To identify and establish suitable monitoring and surveillance mechanisms for those species depending on their distributions – widespread, restricted or very restricted.
• Agri-Environment Scheme targeting and landscape-scale initiatives such as Nature Improvement Areas and Integrated Biodiversity Delivery Areas which seek to implement a more holistic ecosystems approach to land management, with effective management for a range of species.
• Defining the species priorities and ‘pattern’ in National Character Areas. This will underpin a wide range of activities that Natural England undertakes in support of understanding Ecosystem Services and delivering at larger scales.
In August 2012 an update to the data was provided to inform Natural England's species monitoring work plan for 2013/14. The aim is to guide the spatial targeting of monitoring and surveillance effort of species for which it has a statutory reporting requirement as part of SSSI and HLS condition assessments.