Research at Natural England

Find out how to access research, monitoring, analysis and geographical data and understand how evidence is used to validate Natural England's work.


Our views and actions are based on the best available evidence and analysis. This evidence is derived from a wide range of data and information about the natural environment and its management.

Evidence includes:

  • ecological research
  • economic and statistical analysis
  • social research
  • operational research
  • monitoring and surveillance
  • informed predictions (what’s happening now that might change things in the future)

This is used to bring together how biodiversity, geodiversity, soils and landscape are managed as a whole.

We have signed up to the Joint Code of Practice for Research, which sets out standards for the quality of science and research processes that contractors who carry out research on behalf of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs must follow.

Evidence strategy and standards

Our evidence strategy 2012- 2017 describes how evidence plays a critical role in our work. Its purpose is to make sure that we collect and use evidence effectively and transparently in support of our statutory purpose.

It sets out the principles we will adopt in our evidence work, making sure it is:

  • fit for purpose
  • quality assured
  • working in partnership
  • transparent
  • effectively communicated
  • accessible

The Natural England Science Advisory Committee will support the strategy by giving independent advice, and challenging and reviewing our science and evidence work. It is made up of members of the Natural England Board and academics from a wide range of disciplines.

We have produced a set of standards which sets out the minimum requirements for how our work is carried out and includes:

  • an evidence strategy
  • analysis of evidence
  • identifying evidence priorities
  • initiating research and publishing
  • communicating evidence

Using our evidence

You can use our evidence to support your work or study by accessing a range of:

Technical publications

Our publications catalogue also holds technical publications that include:

We commission a range of research and follow-up reports from external contractors to generate evidence. Contractors should follow the writing guidance provided.

We also provide research opportunities for further education students to help shape the conservation and management of National Nature Reserves in England.

Evidence Register

You can find our research, monitoring and evaluation projects for 2013/2014 in the Evidence Register, listed by:

  • project type
  • evidence-based programme
  • site designation

The Register also provides information on the evidence generated by earlier projects since 2009.