Topic: What is the Habitat Framework

As we've got our bit on the forum I thought a brief introduction is required.

We have GIS habitat data.
We have Ordnance Survey Mastermap.
In a process carried out by Geodata the habitat data has been placed in a farmeowrk of MasterMap polygons. Habitat polygons therefore do not cross MasterMap polygon boundaries.
If there's more than one habitat within a Mastermap polygon it is split into fragments.

We, the south east records centres along with Natural England, have clubbed together to produce a Habitat and Land Use Mapping Tool. This allow updating of habitat information largely based on UKBAP habitats and the Intergrated Habitat System (alough it can hold other haitat classification data such as phase 1 in a legacy habitat field) and all the other attributes for the polygon using standard terms and formats. Most of the attributes are held in a database (Access or SQL) as it would be very unwieldy having all the polygons and attributes as a single GIS layer due to the large number of MasterMap polygons. The tool connects the polygons to the database which includes look up tables for thing like habitats, sources etc to keep everything standardised.

The tool will work in either ArcGIS (and possibly other ESRI products which I know little about) and MapInfo.

Graham Hawker
Thames Vallley Environmental Records Centre

Re: What is the Habitat Framework

The first phase of re-development of the HLU Tool (Habitat and Land Use Tool) was completed earlier this year and the next phase of enhancements is currently being planned.

If anyone would like to know more about the tool and the Habitat Framework then user and technical guides can be viewed online or downloaded from: and

If anyone has any questions or would like to know more about the tool or how the habitat framework is created then post a reply here or send me an email.

Andy Foy
Ecologist & IT consultant
Andy Foy Consulting (ex-HBIC)