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

Science and evidence are key to our work as the statutory adviser on the natural environment.

We have published our principles and approach to using science and evidence. These ensure we collect and use evidence effectively and our science and evidence work is:

  • fit for purpose and meets our operational and strategic needs
  • quality assured and adopts the appropriate standards
  • able to access and use skills, knowledge and expertise effectively
  • able to maximise the mutual benefits of partnerships
  • transparent, with open and effective communication

We want to build closer partnerships with others who develop evidence about the natural environment. To help with this we’ve produced a summary of our science and evidence needs and offer.

Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee supports this approach by giving advice, and reviewing and challenging our science and evidence work. The committee includes members of Natural England’s Board and academics from various disciplines.

We also have a set of standards which set minimum requirements for how we carry out our work. These include:

  • 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.