Natural England

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Natural England is the government's advisor on the natural environment. They provide practical advice on how best to safeguard England's natural wealth for the benefit of everyone. sketchmap display many of their data-sets including, Designated National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Agricultural land

The Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) provides a method for making decisions about the use of land in the planning system. It is key in underpinning sustainable development which is a focus of the governments planning strategy. Agricultural land is classified into 5 grades from 1 to 5 in descending quality. Also shown are non agricultural areas and urban areas. The criteria used for assessment include climatic criteria, site specific criteria such as relief and flood risk, soil character and composition.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset11/08/2009
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 10mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Ancient woodlands

Ancient woodlands and trees are said to represent a living cultural heritage, the natural equivalent to our great churches and castles.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset13/05/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 5mi / 10km onscreen scale bar values

Area of outstanding natural beauty

An area of this type is usually a mark of great landscape and scenic beauty, although it is not necessarily one of high nature conservation value. In Scotland, the equivalent designations are National Scenic Areas which are also shown in this layer.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset17/08/2010
Viewable/printable scalesAll zoom scales

Biogenetic reserves

These reserves conserve representative examples of European flora, fauna and natural areas. All coastal biogenetic reserves in Britain are designated for their heathland interest.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset15/10/2009
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Biospheric reserves

Areas of terrestrial, coastal or marine ecosystems that are internationally recognised under the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset15/10/2009
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Country parks

These are areas of countryside in the United Kingdom set aside by the Countryside Commission for the public's recreational use.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset15/06/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 10mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Local nature reserves

These are living green spaces in towns, cities, villages and the countryside which are important to people and support a rich and vibrant variety of wildlife.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

National nature reserves (NNRs)

These reserves protect the most important areas of wildlife habitat and geological formations in Britain, and are also places for scientific research.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

National parks

Are extensive areas, each with their own managing authority to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset17/08/2010
Viewable/printable scalesAll zoom scales

Ramsar sites

Wetlands that are deemed to be internationally important areas with extensive biological diversity.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Rights of way

The England and Wales Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000 increases protection for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and facilitates better management of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Act creates a right of public access to areas of open land, comprising mountain, moor, heath, down, and registered common land. Access land shows all areas of registered common land and open country. Dedicated land shows land that has been dedicated by landowners or long leaseholders for permanent access.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset23/09/2009
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 5mi / 10km onscreen scale bar values

Special areas of conservation (SAC)

Have been given special protection under the European Union's Habitats Directive to provide increased protection to a variety of wild animals, plants and habitats as part of a global effort to conserve the world's biodiversity.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 20mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values

Bird directive (Special protection areas)

These are strictly protected sites, also known as the Birds Directive, for the conservation of wild birds.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesAll zoom scales

Sites of special scientific interest (SSSI)

These include a wide range of habitats from small fens, bogs and riverside meadows to sand dunes, woodlands and vast tracts of uplands.

Metadata table
Data sourceNatural England
Coverage areaEngland
Version date of dataset07/10/2010
Viewable/printable scalesUp to 10mi / 20km onscreen scale bar values
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