Surveying vegetation
What we do

Monitoring, data and research to detect and interpret environmental change

We are the UK's long-term, integrated environmental monitoring and research programme. We collect, analyse and interpret a wide range of long-term data from a network of sites. Our physical, chemical and biological datasets - some spanning three decades - are a unique national resource that is improving our understanding of the processes underpinning change in the natural environment.

Site-based monitoring and research

The Environmental Change Network (ECN) has operated since 1992. It comprises a range of sites where our partner organisations make a wide range of environmental measurements. Data is sent to the Central Coordination Unit at UKCEH, where it is checked, added to the ECN Database and made freely available for research, education and other non-commercial purposes.

ECN is yielding long duration (30 years) datasets

Site-based research is conducted at several ECN sites by our consortium and by other research institutes and universities. Normally more short-term in nature, these studies are enhanced by our long-term ECN data.

Our science
Our data

From data to knowledge

Researchers who use ECN data and site resources publish their findings routinely in the scientific literature. Some of this research provides evidence of value to environmental policy development and decision-making. Our data and knowledge also have educational value.

Evidence for policy
Education & outreach

Working in partnership

ECN is a partnership: in addition to our consortium of organisations that fund and/or carry out site-based monitoring, we work with a wide range of other research partners, and have a key role in the development of long-term ecosystem research (LTER) both in the UK and in Europe. ECN is the UK node of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) and its European regional network, eLTER. ECN is, or has been, represented in several key networks and projects, including the EU-funded eLTER series of projects, the European biodiversity research network, Alternet and the Arctic-Alpine INTERACT network. We are helping to develop key aspects of LTER, such as integration of data, multi-site experiments and improved sharing of research facilities.


Did you know?

UKECN was used as a model for the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative's Environmental Change Network.