Vegetated shingle is a Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat because it is so rare and so valuable for wildlife. All the major examples of the habitat and many of the minor ones have been notified for their wildlife value. To help identify restoration targets and monitor the habitat we need to know what there is, where it is, its geomorphology and the activities taking place that could affect it.
This study was commissioned to provide a spatial dataset of the inventory for coastal vegetated shingle in England. It takes forward a key recommendation of the earlier review NECR015 Development of a Coastal Vegetated Shingle Inventory for England and updates the extent of shingle habitat using selected habitat mapping and secondary data interpretation to develop the new spatial dataset.
This study represents the most up-to-date national inventory of coastal vegetated shingle habitats and the evidence will provide the basis for monitoring environmental change and shingle status assessment, especially related to long-term climate change and sea level rise.
The data and other products will also be used by Natural England and partner organisations in other contexts, such as the evaluation of shingle resources within flood risk management applications; incorporating the scales of change that have been observed and allowing assessment of options for longer term adaptation to climate change. Whilst recognising the limitations of the work, this will inform the strategic management activities proposed and undertaken.