The Campaign

Our ambition is to help protect ecosystems and habitats within urban and semi-urban environments. It is an  ambitious plan but one we believe can make a difference. 

The continual creep of urbananisation has had  a huge and damaging effect on our nation’s nature and it’s ecological infrastructure, in particular through, fragmentation, degradation and loss of natural habitats.

Careful planning, design, construction and management of the urban built environment can help construct and support a diverse range of habitats, mitigating species decline and actively protecting, enhancing and creating diverse eco networks. Whilst also establishing a connection between us and nature for our collective prosperity.   

The Habitat Matters programme connects and empowers people to improve the quality of our built environment and inspires the creation of long term, resilient, nature sensitive solutions. This is done through knowledge sharing, education and collaboration.  


Our Vision

Our vision for Habitat Matters is to; 

  • Utilise interactive mapping techniques to create an open source knowledge-based platform, hosting, collecting, rating and analysing data pertaining to biodiversity and habitat in urban and semi urban environments. 

  • Create a connection between the built environment, Biodiversity Net Gain monitoring and national biological record keeping. 

  • Connect the public with urban habitats and nature. Enabling healthy prosperous communities. 

  • Ensure that implemented nature sensitive solutions are monitored and best practice is feedback to the built environment professional and planners.

  • Share biodiversity protection and enhancement educational content through webinars, podcasts and continued professional development.  

How can the map help us achieve our goals?

What does the map do? 

Using the interactive map you can replicate the physical environment in the digital world. Every habitat generates its own unique QR code which can be displayed in the physical environment. When the public interact with the asset (habitat) they are directed to the built environment information, encouraged to provide feedback or identify, collect and submit biological species data.

Using the Habitat Matter Mapping System you can;  

Search Records 

learn more about effectiveness of urban and semi urban habitats and biodiversity across the UK by browsing through existing records from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the Biological Records Centre. The database will serve as a source of ideas and best practice.

Create a Site

add your own site and create unique QR codes that connect the digital map to the physical habitat. Guiding you to pertinent information and collection of observational data.  

Add Habitat or features

collect and submit habitat & ecological data pertaining to the sites management and mitigation solutions for your scheme or project.

Add Biodiversity records

enter valuable biodiversity observational data, helping to continue monitoring animal and plant species in the UK and contributing to national biological record keeping.

Submit Habitat feedback

help towards the future management of the asset and feedback critical information that could help designers, planners and approval bodies. Identifying best practice.

Where does the mapping information come from?

The Habitat Matters mapping system has been built by dedicated biological mapping specialists Biodiverse IT who have extensive experience in the field using Indicia, an open source wildlife recording toolkit.  

The map is a collaborative approach with data from;

  • Habitat records from the UK centre for Ecology & Hydrology

  • Biodiversity records and species identification from The biological records Centre 

  • Mapping categories from Natural England’s Biodiversity Matrix 3.0 and small sites matrix 

Where does the mapping information go?

Habitat Matters is committed to contributing towards citizen science and national records keeping. Habitat and biological observational data is given to different organisations as set out below; 

  • Site and habitat information is supplied to the UK Centre for Ecology and hydrology to assist in the future modelling and identification of habitats.

  • Biological observational data is submitted to the biological records Centre which contribute towards national record keeping and the state of nature report where applicable.

Why add your site?

Whether you are a developer an engineer, architect or member of the public interested in protecting the natural world you can make a difference through recording site habitats and biodiversity. 

By adding your site you are;  

  • Connecting the public to nature, urban habitat information and wildlife conservation resources.

  • Providing good legibility, satisfying SuDS amenity and Biodiversity Net Gain criteria. Whilst promoting good environmental learning.

  • Demonstrating good social governance and a commitment to increase the schemes societal value through education and community engagement. 

  • Contributing to the long term monitoring for Biodiversity Net Gain for sites and National Biological record keeping, driving policy in the future.

Collaborating for change 

ACO, working with continually increasing number of industry partners, coordinated Habitat Matters, inspiring the creation and long term resilience of nature sensitive solutions for UK construction programmes. 

Businesses, affiliated organisations and NGOs are collaborating together to show how collectively we can help address nature & biodiversity decline and tackle the challenges faced when safeguarding urban habitats.

Please view our partners here