Over one third of Cumbria (including the estuarine mud-flats) is designated a priority habitat. Furthermore, Cumbria has the most diverse range of habitats of any English county with all 24 different priority habitats 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.
Cumbria is particularly significant for the priority habitat Mountain Heath and Willow scrub, with 84% of the total land area for England. 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%).
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 services. In addition, we hold additional data on Sabellaria alveolata reefs and a later reedbed survey of the county which are added to the Natural England layer. The vector layer is then included in the Cumbria Biodiversity Evidence Base (CBEB) layers for partner organisations.
Phase 1 Habitat Survey of Cumbria 1983-1987
The Habitat Survey of Cumbria was carried out between 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.
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’.