Ecological connectivity is a key consideration in  planning for effective biodiversity conservation and building ecosystem resilience through Resilient Ecological Networks (RENs). Modelled habitat  networks can provide insights into how landscapes are likely to be functioning and inform the location of actions to improve the connectivity and resilience of protected sites. This spatial dataset consists of maps of habitat networks originally developed by Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) in collaboration with Forestry Commission Wales and Forest Research using a least-cost modelling approach, and now managed and progressively developed by Natural Resources Wales. Patches of habitat and other intervening habitats through which many of their species can move are mapped as habitat networks, which are available for habitats including native woodland, semi-natural grassland, heathland, bog, and fen.

Results are available for the whole of Wales and include three levels of habitat networks; core networks (areas within which species that require extensive habitat and disperse poorly are able to move), focal networks (areas within which species tolerant of smaller habitat patches and with greater dispersal ability are able to move), and local networks (areas within species that can persist within small habitat patches and have very limited dispersal abilities can move).

These habitat networks  also form the basis of ‘Priority Ecological Networks’ (PENs), a subset of the ‘focal’ networks described above which have been selected against our suite of Protected Sites.

Attribution statement

Contains Natural Resources Wales information © Natural Resources Wales and Database Right. All rights Reserved. Contains Ordnance Survey Data. Ordnance Survey Licence number AC0000849444. Crown Copyright and Database Right.

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Please refer to the licence to understand the conditions of using this data.

OWS endpoints
Spatial data download
  • nrw_lowland_local_network_bog

  • nrw_upland_focal_network_fen

  • nrw_lowland_core_network_grass

  • nrw_lowland_focal_network_grass

  • nrw_lowland_local_network_heath

  • nrw_lowland_core_network_heath

  • nrw_upland_local_network_heath

  • nrw_lowland_core_network_wood

  • nrw_lowland_focal_network_fen

  • nrw_lowland_focal_network_wood

  • nrw_lowland_local_network_grass

  • nrw_lowland_local_network_wood

  • nrw_upland_focal_network_heath

  • nrw_lowland_core_network_bog

  • nrw_upland_local_network_bog

  • nrw_lowland_core_network_fen

  • nrw_upland_focal_network_grass

  • nrw_upland_local_network_grass

  • nrw_upland_local_network_fen

  • nrw_upland_focal_network_bog

  • nrw_upland_core_network_fen

  • nrw_upland_core_network_grass

  • nrw_upland_core_network_bog

  • nrw_upland_core_network_heath

  • nrw_lowland_local_network_fen

  • nrw_lowland_focal_network_bog

  • nrw_lowland_focal_network_heath

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Spatial data

Flora and/or fauna in natural environment. Examples: wildlife, vegetation, biological sciences, ecology, wilderness, sealife, wetlands, habitat

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