New shoots for NVC


One of the key common standards developed for the country nature conservation agencies is the National Vegetation Classification (NVC). The original project aimed to produce a classification and description of the plant communities of Britain, each named and arranged with standardised descriptions. It was originally commissioned in 1975 by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) and was intended as a new classification, not an attempt to fit British plant communities into an existing scheme.


Based around 35,000 samples of vegetation, covering nearly all natural, semi-natural and a number of major artificial vegetation communities in terrestrial, freshwater and maritime situations across Great Britain, excluding Northern Ireland, the NVC continues to evolve.  Through its use in the field, surveyors have recognised new, additional vegetation assemblages. A review of its coverage identified both known and likely gaps in the plant community descriptions, recognising a number of further community types still to be described in full.  Other studies have commented on the scope of the NVC and difficulties encountered in accommodating certain types of vegetation and now, for the first time, these have been collated into a single report which concludes JNCC’s formal involvement in the NVC.


Contact File


Ed Mountford

Habitats Adviser

Tel: +44 (0)1733 866917


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