These datasets are derived from multiple datasets indicating the presence of protected features in Welsh waters. The data is presented on 1 km2 hexagonal grids.

More details on the methodology are included in the following report:

Murray, L.G., Bloomfield, H. and Skates, L. (2023). Mapping Environmental Considerations for Marine Spatial Planning in Wales: Methodology. Report to Welsh Government. Bangor, Natural Resources Wales. 48pp.

Operational phase was considered for all sectors for all feature groups, and includes maintenance activities. The construction phase was only considered for sectors where potential construction impacts are substantially different from those during operation (tidal stream, wave, tidal range, floating offshore wind and cabling). However, for the Bird feature group, construction phase was only considered for tidal range and cabling. The scoring methodology included three main stages:

  1. The occurrence score reflects either the presence or absence, or standardized abundance (where abundance data was available) of features (i.e., species, habitats, or protected sites) and were scored from 1 to 3 on a continuous scale where 1 was the lowest density and 3 the highest for each feature.

  2. The conservation importance score is an estimate of the level of protection each feature has based on the legislation that confers a feature protection. It is important to note that all the features included in this work are conferred protection under various legislation and all are important considerations in the planning of developments. This step was scored from 1 to 5.

  3. An impact score to reflect potential impacts on features based on the likely pressures generated by each sector was applied for the operational pressures of each of the focus sectors and, separate to this, construction pressures for some sectors. Where there was considered to be a lack of evidence then a higher score was applied. The current approach did not assess specific technologies individually but considered the potential pressures that could originate from a sector and their potential to negatively affect each of the features. This step was scored from 1 to 3.

A total score was calculated for each feature in each cell, and these were summed for each 1 km2 hexagonal grid cell, providing a relative ‘environmental considerations’ score for each feature group per sector. The approach taken to the scoring differed slightly between feature groups based on the available evidence.

For information on the data schema follow this link.

Attribution statement

Contains Natural Resources Wales information © Natural Resources Wales and Database Right. All rights Reserved. Contains JNCC, Natural England, SNH, UKHO, RSPB, BTO, MCS, Cefas, WG and Ordnance Survey Data. Ordnance Survey Licence number AC0000849444. Crown Copyright and Database Right.

Use this data in another application

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

OWS endpoints

Spatial data (4)

Spatial data download
  • Mapping Environmental Considerations for Marine Planning - Fish

  • Mapping Environmental Considerations for Marine Planning - Birds

  • Mapping Environmental Considerations for Marine Planning - Mammals

  • Mapping Environmental Considerations for Marine Planning - Habitats Benthic Species

Metadata download

Maps using this data (0)

Display in map viewer

Or display data on an existing map

Spatial data

Environmental resources, protection and conservation. Examples: environmental pollution, waste storage and treatment, environmental impact assessment, monitoring environmental risk, nature reserves, landscape

Find more data in this category

Publication date:
Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information (OGL)

Read more about this licence



Point of contact:
Read full metadata