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The National Forest Company (NFC) is leading one of the country’s boldest environmental projects: Creating a new, wooded landscape for the nation across 200 square miles of central England.

OS MasterMap helped it create a detailed habitat map, allowing analysis of various ecosystems and enabling a targeted action plan for future wildlife conservation.

What were the challenges?

  • Developing a GIS application with accurate mapping to model existing and potential woodland and other ecological networks.
  • Analysing habitats and looking at the potential for plants and animals to thrive and expand within them.
  • Ensuring vulnerable species such as smaller mammals and invertebrates aren’t stranded in fragmented habitats.

What was the solution?

OS products are an essential part of our day-to-day working. They underpin the monitoring and reporting of the ongoing creation of The National Forest and they support the innovative research we are undertaking to ensure our future network is targeted to provide the most benefit.

Sam Lattaway, Head of Landscape, Biodiversity & Recreation

Joining the PSMA gave The National Forest access to OS MasterMap®. This allowed the creation of a much more detailed habitat map that had a level of spatial accuracy that couldn’t previously be achieved. Habitat units could be based on MasterMap polygons rather than digitised by eye from raster maps.

What were the outcomes?

  • More detailed, reliable mapping.
  • Common features such as buildings, gardens and roads can be automatically identified.
  • Speedy delivery: Digitising large areas of the Forest now takes hours rather than days.
  • Reliable monitoring, strong evidence, accurate reporting.
  • Hundreds of pounds a year saved in licence fees as part of the PSMA.

The products used

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