A national inventory of coastal vegetated shingle is required for a number of reasons including to:
- Implement Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs).
- Manage designated sites.
- Develop and implement strategic coastal management.
This project was the second phase of work to develop a uniform age digital inventory of the extent of coastal vegetated shingle based upon surveys undertaken in the 1990s. There were two main objectives:
- To review and improve upon the existing digital inventory (Phase 1, completed in 2004).
- To produce an inventory for all coastal vegetated shingle sites in England showing their extent at a fixed point in time.
The project has provided a Geographical Information System layer for the extent of coastal vegetated shingle in the 1990s. The project findings include:
- There is less of this habitat in England than previously thought.
- It is an extremely rare habitat in England and Europe.
- The development of methods to deal with data quality assurance issues and the transfer of large quanities of mapping data.
Natural England will use the findings to:
- Promote actions to achieve the UK BAP targets for this habitat.
- Improve the condition of the vegetated shingle feature within protected sites.
- Help to identify locations for further site surveys and enable a more effective assessment of changes in extent for future reporting.