Condition of UK Freshwater Habitats

 

The condition of UK freshwater habitats has been assessed using Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Freshwater Habitats. This involves making an assessment of individual sites using a series of habitat characteristics or attributes and standardised condition categories.

 

Sites are judged to be in favourable condition when the objectives for the habitat are being met. Sites with habitat that is in an unsatisfactory state are classed as in unfavourable condition. Where this is the case, a judgement is made as to whether the habitat is: (i) recovering – moving towards the desired state; (ii) declining – moving away from the desired state; or (iii) no-change – neither improving nor declining. Sites are classed as destroyed (partially or completely) when the habitat is no longer present and there is no prospect of being able to restore it.

 

Condition on designated sites

 

The tables below summarise information on the condition of freshwater habitats at a UK-level as reported in 2006-07. In general, the condition of standing waters (lakes and ponds) was better than rivers. Note that, since this time, the condition of some habitats has improved (e.g. see The State of the Natural Environment 2008).

 

Tables of condition of UK freshwater habitats 

 

Click on the habitat links in the table for details – based on data from the Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report (2006) and the 2nd UK Report on Implementation of the Habitats Directive (2007).

 

A. Sites designated as SSSI/ASSIs

Favourable

Unfavourable
recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

(i.e. ‘declining’ or ‘no change’)

Destroyed or part destroyed

Standing water

49%

12%

38%

1%

Rivers

32%

11%

56%

1%

 

B. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Destroyed or part destroyed

Standing water

68%

11%

21%

0%

Rivers

8%

0%

92%

0%

 

C. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – broken down into EU Habitats Directive Annex I types

Annex I habitat type

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

H3170 Mediterranean temporary ponds

100%

0%

0%

H3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds

99%

<1%

1%

H3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoëto-Nanojuncetea

80%

6%

14%

H3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition-type vegetation

61%

9%

30%

H3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp. dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria ('white dunes')

38%

4%

58%

H3110 Oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals of sandy plains (Littorelletalia uniflorae)

22%

78%

0%

H3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation

3%

0%

97%

H3180 Turloughs

0%

0%

100%