3rd UK Habitats Directive Reporting 2013 - Download Geographic Information on Distribution and Range 

As part of the 2013 UK Habitats Directive Report, the UK submitted a set of habitat and species distribution and range maps to the European Commission.  This information was provided in the form of ArcGIS shapefiles.


Download the ArcGIS shapefiles


This zip file download contains the following files/documents:

  • UK_Art17_habitats_distribution.shp (and associated documents).
  • UK_Art17_species_distribution.shp (and associated documents).
  • UK_Art17_habitats_range.shp (and associated documents).
  • UK_Art17_species_range.shp (and associated documents).
  • 1_1_4_AdditionalDistributionMap_UK.shp (and associated documents).
  • UK_distribution_range_data_conversion_explanatory_note.pdf
  • Distribution map data sources and Terms & Conditions of data use.xlsx


The distribution information was collated from many different sources, including organisations who use the National Biodiversity Network Gateway to share their data. These are listed in the spreadsheet “Distribution map data sources and Terms & Conditions of data use.xls”.  Please be aware of these Terms and Conditions and in particular acknowledge these sources as appropriate if you use or republish these map data.


Please note the following:

  1. The information is provided in the form of European Grid Squares, which was the format required by the European Commission. 
  2. These maps were constructed originally using the Great Britain and Northern Ireland grids, except in the case of marine and Gibraltar features that were originally collated using the European Grid format. The GB/NI grid data for terrestrial habitats and species was converted to the European Grid as described in the explanatory note provided within the zip file.  In some cases, the conversion may have led to a false impression of the true habitat/species distribution.
  3. The information covers habitats and species in Gibraltar, which are based on 1-km square grids as opposed to the standard 10-km square grid.
  4. Marine species distributions and ranges within the UK are based on a 50km square grid as opposed to the standard 10km grid.
  5. The shapefiles are identical to those submitted to the European Commission. These are also available at http://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/gb/eu/art17/envukl4fa, except that they are prefixed GB and each component needs to be downloaded individually.
  6. Most of the data were collated in 2012. For up-to-date distribution data (particularly for terrestrial species) go to the NBN Gateway or other habitat/species data suppliers.
  7. The data provide a coarse representation of the distribution of habitats and species. For purposes such as planning or land management, or any correlation with more precise spatial data, users are STRONGLY ADVISED to request finer resolution  data, where this is available, either from data providers through the NBN Gateway (for species) or by contacting relevant data suppliers directly.
  8. Additional Distribution map data is supplied for eight marine species. These were submitted to provide additional contextual information.




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