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Natural England hits its target early

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Defra digital, Open data

Natural England has released its 1000 open datasets three months earlier than the June target set by Elizabeth Truss MP.

This important milestone forms part of the total of 8000 promised by the Defra group to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last June. The value of open data is that it can be used freely by anyone, for any purpose, commercially or not, for ever. Freeing up this data in this way means companies and technologies can use this data for generating revenue with no red tape.

Statistics from our customers have already indicated that Natural England’s data has value – eg, the agricultural land classification data (post 1988), which has seen a significant quantity of downloads since the first tranche was uploaded. Publishing this data externally in Natural England’s Access to Evidence catalogue, MAGIC Interactive Map (Landscape theme) and our download service provides access to tabular and map data, unlocking the potential for developers to take account of land quality when planning growth in rural areas.

Photo of a Rosemary Beetle
Invertebrate data has also been added as part of our 1000 datasets, some benefiting our agriculture, some not. Information about both these groups will aid farmers and gardeners alike. Rosemary Beetle photo by Allan Drewitt/Natural England

We have also published bat site data, important in managing these animals when they sometimes roost in places of worship. Information such as this can help with planning mitigation measures.

Marine data has also figured significantly in our total. Survey data of marine habitats will help inform and protect the wealth of coastline and seas which surround the UK.

You can find all the data we’ve published on the website.

Natural England will continue to publish more of its data as open data to contribute to June’s target of 8000 datasets. This also fits with our aims of being open and transparent about our evidence and that we communicate this evidence to our customers.

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