National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

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National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

poppy meadow

The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is a system of classifying natural habitat types in the UK according to the botanical species they contain and is a standardised method allowing assessment of the character and value of plant communities.  NVC surveys gather information used by quadrat sampling, which is subsequently displayed on an electronically produced map along with a written report; this will give descriptions of the plant communities present and their relative importance.

NVC surveys may be required when certain habitats have been highlighted, within a proposed development site, as being of high potential conservation importance, and confirmation of their status required.  The NVC survey and subsequent map will therefore identify which areas of plant interest should be avoided, or translocated via a habitat translocation scheme, as part of the development process. In addition to aiding development proposals the NVC is also used for site monitoring, developing conservation management plans and designating sites of conservation importance (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest).