Background

There are a number of initiatives which map natural capital or ecosystem services, at differing scales and levels of complexity. Many of these require modelling or Geographical Information System (GIS) expertise, plus considerable time to input data sources and run models. This project aims to provide maps that are publically available for people to download and use. As this includes access to download a GIS layer for each map, users can take a map away and combine it with other GIS layers, or cut it to the part of the country that they are interested in.

This project builds on Natural England’s report on Assessing the potential for mapping ecosystem services in England based on existing habitats - NERR056. The Natural England report provides ten ecosystem services maps, at an England level. The maps are based on broad habitats and expert opinion (from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment) on their importance for the provision of individual ecosystem services. This simple and transparent approach mapped broad habitats as natural capital. The Mapping Natural Capital project builds on this suite of maps through the use of additional data sets. The inclusion of maps related to soils, complements the maps based on broad habitats in the Natural England report.

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