UKBAP logoUK BAP broad habitats


A classification of 'broad habitat' types was developed in conjunction with the development of the UK BAP priority habitats list, in order to understand how the suite of priority habitats requiring action are set within the context of the whole of the UK.  Each priority habitat was to to be included within (at least) one broad habitat.

The original classification of broad habitats was provided in 'Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group Report – meeting the Rio challenge' (PDF, 1.4Mb), published in 1995.  This classification included 37 broad habitat types, which covered the whole land surface of the UK, and the surrounding sea to the edge of the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean.  For each of these broad habitat types, a habitat statement was produced.  The classification was subsequently revised in 1997, resulting in a list of 27 broad habitats.  The details are described in Volume 2 (Terrestrial and Freshwater Habitats, PDF, 718kb), and Volume 5 (Maritime Species and Habitats, PDF, 2.4Mb), of Tranche 2 of the UK Steering Group Report, published in 1998 and 1999.

The UK BAP list of habitats provides details of the broad habitat types, and the priority habitats with which they are associated, following the Species and Habitats Review (PDF, 1.3Mb), carried out in 2007.

JNCC published a guidance on the interpretation of broad habitats (Report No. 307) in 2000.  This report contains the definitions for each of the terrestrial and freshwater types of the biodiversity Broad Habitat Classification.  The definitions given are based upon the descriptions agreed by the UK Biodiversity Group and published in volume two of the second tranche of action plans.  In addition to the definitions, annex 1 of this report contains tables which show the correspondence between these broad habitat types and a number of other standard habitat classifications and select lists of habitats of conservation interest commonly used in the UK for collecting and reporting data.  A spreadsheet to show the relationship between the standard habitat definitions most used in UK conservation has also been developed with the National Biodiversity Network (NBN).