According to Natural England’s Priority Habitats’ Inventory (Single Habitats’ Layer) for England v1.1 Cumbria has the most diverse range of habitats of any English county and is the only county with all 24 different priority habitats (27 including other habitats in the PHI layer) represented. These habitats are the currently mapped terrestrial habitats from Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 Section 41: Habitats of Principal Importance in England.
At over a quarter of the county (over a third including the estuarine mud-flats) a greater proportion of Cumbria is priority habitat than any other county.
Cumbria is particularly significant in the context of England for the priority habitat Mountain Heath and Willow scrub, holding 84% of the total area of the habitat. The county is also very important for Limestone Pavement (59%); Lowland Raised Bog (45%); Upland Flushes (44%); Upland Hay Meadows (25%); Upland Calcareous Grassland (23%); Saltmarsh (22%); and Blanket Bog (22%).
Report - England county breakdown of PHI v1.1 and Cumbrian Habitat List
Download File [PDF]
Habitat Data available from CBDC
Cumbria specific context statements for planning and development are freely provided to all as part of the Cumbria Biodiversity Evidence Base covering all priority habitats in Cumbria, except the ‘arable field margins’.
Priority Habitat Inventory
CBDC holds a copy of Natural England's Priority habitat Inventory and provides PDF maps of the habitats around a site as part of our data enquiry service. In addition, we hold additional data on the marine Sabellaria alveolata reefs and a later reedbed survey of the county which we add to the Natural England layer. The vector layer is included in the CBEB layers for partner organisations.
Phase 1 Habitat Survey of Cumbria 1983-1987
The Habitat Survey of Cumbria was carried out 1983-87 to the standard Phase 1 Nature Conservancy Council method. Habitat maps were produced at 1:10000 scale with associated commentary for particular locations (target notes). The information was collated and presented in Wildlife Habitat in Cumbria, ed by Kelly and Perry, 1990. Target notes provide brief additional habitat / plant species information. We can provide scanned maps of the areas and target notes if required. The raster layer and target notes are included in the CBEB layers for partner organisations.