Worcestershire Habitat Inventory
Habitat Inventory (WHI) is a digital mapping project led by
Worcestershire County Council involving field-by-field survey of
the county to document habitats and land use. It provides an
important baseline of information about the natural environment of
Worcestershire that can help the Council and our partners make the
best possible decisions regarding the protection and enhancement of
biodiversity in our countryside.
Increasing recognition of the value of
biodiversity has led to important international and EU treaties.
This has resulted in changes to national policy and the passing of
legislation such as the Natural Environment and Rural Communities
Act (2006), which gives public bodies a statutory duty to have
regard to the conservation of biodiversity at both a strategic and
an operational level. The WHI is an important resource to help
ensure we meet this duty.
interpretation was used to map habitats and land use in a
Geographical Information System (GIS), with the first map iteration
completed in 2008 using an aerial photograph set flown in 2005.
Other datasets, such as national habitat inventories published by
Natural England, were also incorporated as appropriate. Using a
GIS allows for data to be easily managed, queried, overlaid
and compared. Some parts of the county have subsequently been
ground-truthed where further information was required.
The WHI is intended as a tool
to aid decision making by planners, land managers, conservation
bodies and others, principally to inform the targeting of habitat
restoration and creation projects.
The raw data within the WHI was analysed to
produce two main outputs:
- Habitat Network Maps
- Biodiversity Basemaps
Uses: now and in the future
The WHI is already being used to inform
Worcestershire County Council planning officers in their
decision-making processes, provide the baseline evidence needed to
assist the development of the Worcestershire Green Infrastructure
strategy and to help target delivery of the county Biodiversity
Our current priority for the WHI project is to
make the mapping available on the web to district planners and
the public and provide training on data interpretation. We are
keen to develop data management systems to help monitor our
progress as a Local Authority in meeting our obligations on
biodiversity and to explore how the WHI can be used by
communities to foster ownership of their local natural
In the longer-term we intend to update the WHI
by obtaining new aerial photograph sets, carrying out further
ground-truthing of key sites, incorporating any new or newly
available survey data, updating the Data Capture Tool and
incorporating Climate Change adaptation modelling into the
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This page was last reviewed 31 January 2014 at 12:29.
The page is next due for review 30 July 2015.