Nature Recovery Network Map


Find out about how the mapping project is going in a 10-minute video from project manager Ed or read a short presentation delivered to the LNP board in March 2021.


Work is led by a small Steering Group of LNP partners (LAs, NE, EA, FC, DWT, AONBs, DNPA, DBRC, Woodland Trust, Biosphere) with a broader stakeholder consultation group.



  • Providing the basis of the Devon LNRS
  • Informing Local Plans / Neighbourhood Plans
  • Targeting funding e.g. net gain, carbon offsetting, ELM (environmental land management grants)
  • Targeting conservation effort
  • Avoiding impacts on sensitive habitats e.g. through development, tree planting, agriculture and other land uses

What will the Devon NRN map include?

The map will build on existing wildlife mapping and data such as:

The Devon Nature Recovery Network Map is likely to be composed of the following:

  • Core Nature Areas = existing areas of wildlife rich habitat or supporting habitat.  These are likely to  include statutory and non-statutory designated sites (SACs, SPAs, SSSIs, CWS) and priority habitats (species rich grasslands, woodlands, heath, ponds, hedges).
  • Other Nature Areas = existing habitats which have wildlife value (or potential value) but don’t meet Core Nature Area criteria. These may include parks, churchyards, allotments, plantation woodlands and areas of farmland such as rough/tussocky grasslands (important for bird and bat foraging).  We may not be able to map all of these areas at the county scale.
  • Species CNAs and Zones:  Areas which don’t meet priority habitat status but are critical for some of our rarer species.  These may include high tide roosts along the Exe and Greater Horseshoe Bat Sustenance Zones.
  • Habitat Suitability Mapping:  DBRC and DWT are working closely with the EA to develop a methodology for Habitat Suitability Mapping using soils information and other data.  This will identify areas suitable for creating specific habitats such as heathland, culm grasslands, calcareous grassland and woodlands.  This information will be valuable in targeting funding such as net gain, carbon offsetting and Environmental Land Management.  It will also be used to identify areas where woodland creation should be avoided e.g. priority areas for heathland creation.
  • Nature Recovery Areas. Large areas of countryside with considerable coverage of Core and other Nature Areas where landscape-scale restoration will contribute significantly to nature recovery in Devon.  These are likely to build on existing Strategic Nature Areas.
  • Wildlife everywhere!  We need to inspire everyone to take action for wildlife everywhere – not just in the mapped Nature Areas. This needs to be made clear through the mapping process and associated guidance.

A key principle behind the map is that it should not be too prescriptive – we need to allow for natural processes / dynamism within landscapes whilst also managing important wildlife habitats such as ancient hedges, heathland and species rich meadows.


Access to the map and ongoing management

There will be ongoing costs to DBRC, and commercial sensitivities around some of the data used, so a public version will be made available for-non commercial use on the DCC Environment Viewer, however, professional users, which includes statutory agencies and local authorities will need to access the information through DBRCs suite of products and services.  Users should adhere to the licensing constraints at all times.


For further information on the NRN mapping work contact:

Ed Parr Ferris (PM)

Sarah Jennings (St Grp Chair)

For a discussion about a future Devon LNRS contact Sarah.