How to access Natural England's maps and data

Download and use Natural England's maps and data on the natural environment.

Applies to England

Natural England provides geographic information as:

  • data for download to a geographic information system (GIS)
  • interactive maps

Planners, developers, land managers and academics can use the data to support:

  • development proposals
  • planning decisions
  • environmental projects

Partners and contractors working on behalf of Natural England can also use its maps and data to support their projects.

This guide tells you:

  • which data is free to use
  • when you may need a licence
  • how to access or request data

Where possible, Natural England publishes its data under the Open Government Licence (OGL). The OGL allows anyone to use public sector data for any use (commercial use or non-commercial use). You do not need to pay or get permission to use data under the OGL, but you must include a copyright statement to acknowledge the data source.

Use of Natural England’s data

Where third party intellectual property rights prevent the use of the OGL, Natural England publishes its data under its own terms of use or the Non-Commercial Government Licence. Anyone can use the data, but they may have restrictions or copyright obligations to meet.

Download maps and data

You can find Natural England’s maps and data on several portals for download.

Defra’s Magic map application

Defra’s Magic map application is an interactive mapping system that holds maps and data on the natural environment, such as habitats and species types, designated sites, landscape types, and environmental schemes. It works with the following web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Google Chrome

You can download data from the Magic web page or from a link to third party data. You do not need to pay or get permission to use Magic.

Open Data Geoportal

The Natural England Open Data Geoportal gives anyone access to a wide range of geographical products through the:

You can download the data for use in GIS applications. You’ll need software such as ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro or QGIS to access and use the data.

Latest updates are shown on the Geoportal homepage.


You can find Natural England’s published datasets on Data.GOV.UK. You can also filter on OGL data only. Anyone can access Data.GOV.UK.

Restricted or third party data

Partners or contractors working on behalf of Natural England can use additional third-party environmental data that’s not available for general use. See the most commonly used .

The Defra Data Service Platform provides the most up to date environmental data for partners or contractors working on behalf of Natural England to download under the OGL. Some third-party applications are subject to use and copyright restrictions.

Request data

You must get Natural England’s consent to use its restricted or third party data. You must also be a contractor for Natural England or be working together in a partnership.

You need to download the following documents and save a local copy on your computer to fill them in:

Submit your completed forms and any supporting documents to your Natural England Project Officer.

Contact Natural England

If you need help or information on Natural England’s data, use the relevant email address:

Updates to this page

Published 3 February 2015
Last updated 21 April 2023 + show all updates
  1. Data request form link removed as the form is no longer in use.

  2. We've revised and removed old content, replaced the data request form and data spreadsheet with accessible versions and updated the contact email address.

  3. Updated version of Natural England’s terms of use for information and data.

  4. Added set of pre-defined searches for Natural England data on DATA.GOV.UK.

  5. First published.

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