The Environmental Change Biodiversity Network is a multi-agency long-term integrated research programme to record, analyse and predict environmental change in the United Kingdom. The focus of the network is to understand long term air pollution and climate change impacts on biodiversity. All sites operate a uniform system of long-term data collection of physical, chemical and biological variables recorded using strict protocols.
Since 2009 Natural England (NE) has contributed to the wider ECBN through its Long Term Monitoring Network (LTMN), which currently stands at 37 sites across England. Where the weather, air, soil chemistry are measured and plant, soil communities, birds and butterfly populations are surveyed in a standardised way, in order to allow comparability of 10 target habitats on a range of sites across the network. As part of the Programme vegetation surveys are carried out every four years to monitor the change in plant communities, over time. This suite of site vegetation data is collected using the Environmental Change Network (ECN) Course Grain Vegetation protocol which uses 2m x 2m quadrats, with each plot divided into 25 cells of 40cm x 40cm.