Topic: Who's using IHS?

The LRCs in the South-East, together with funding from Natural England, have developed a GIS tool to support habitat data capture.  It works with both ArcGIS and MapInfo and closely (but not yet exactly) matches the attributes required in Natural England's new MoA Appendix 3.

The first version is completed and ready for use but a number of further enhancements have already been identified that will make it more useable.  Progress is being made to get these enhancements costed and developed which will hopefully (funds allowing) include changes to the attributes to support Natural England's habitat inventory format.  So the next version should be more useful to all interested LRCs.

We would be keen to see the tool adopted by other LRCs across the UK - the more users there are the lower shared development and maintenance costs will be to each user (and the more we can demonstrate LRCs are standardising their data and outputs).  IHS is central to this GIS tool, so the question is how many LRCs across the UK are using IHS?  Can people post a reply saying:

1. If you are already using IHS (in some capacity)
2. If you are interested in a GIS habitat data capture tool

The more LRCs that are using IHS, and hence the wider the potential user base for the tool, the more likely we can secure some more funding from Natural England to enhance/maintain the tool in the future.

If you know of other LRCs that are using IHS can you post that information too (as not all LRCs are ALERC members and may not see this post)?

Many thanks,

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

Re: Who's using IHS?

1. Yes we hold all out habitata data in IHS format
2. Yes we'd be keen on a GIS data capture tool as ours is not compatible with NEs requirements.


Purgle Linham
Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre

Re: Who's using IHS?

Hi Andy

We would be interested in a GIS capture tool having had bad experiences with the NE version. We haven't as yet got IHS working here, but it is on our to do list.


Martin Horlock
Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service

Martin Horlock
Chair of ALERC
Senior Biodiversity Officer
Norfolk County Council

Re: Who's using IHS?


1. No
2. Yes

Charlie Barnes
Information Officer
Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership

Re: Who's using IHS?

Yes, we use IHS but because it's not generally used or recognised we still also use BAP habitats and Phase 1.
Yes we are interested in the tool.

Graham Hawker
Thames Vallley Environmental Records Centre

Re: Who's using IHS?

Well not unsurprisingly...
1 Yes we do use IHS
2 Yes we are as we now have Arc users and my tools have only been for MapInfo.

We basically use the format laid out by the SW Priority Habitats Pilot in 2004. Not all of the fields are populated and we use some project specific fields as need arises.

Tony Price
Data Manager, Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC)

Re: Who's using IHS?

1. No - IHS seems little known up here.
2. Not sure! Not uninterested although we don't have the capacity to do habitat work at the moment.

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.


Re: Who's using IHS?

No - we don't currently use IHS as it is a little complicated
Yes, describing habitats is going to become an increasingly important element of LRC work and so will need a consistent simple solution