Falkirk integrated habitat networks


About the Falkirk area

Map showing the Falkirk integrated habitat networks study area.
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Located between the Campsie Fells and the Forth, Falkirk sits in a narrow lowland area in between the southern and northern lowland areas of Scotland, making it an important corridor for species dispersal. The area has an industrial past and there is now the opportunity to restore habitats and enhance biodiversity.

Much of the land is of agricultural importance, with more designated as improved grassland.  Little semi-natural land remains and there is limited forest cover. Despite this Falkirk is an area of biodiversity importance.  The Falkirk Forth shore is home to 4 SSSIs designated as RAMSAR sites and great effort is being made to restore natural sites.

Key findings and recommendations

  • Integrated Habitat Networks (IHNs) were defined, for species using woodland, wetland, bog, or grassland habitat, as landscape structures through which species can disperse freely between numerous habitat patches. These networks can be used to prioritise and direct conservation effort.
  • The IHNs should be used within a GIS as part of the decision-making process; they do not provide answers on their own.
  • The integration of the Falkirk HELIX project and links with other regional habitat networks should be a priority.
  • Integration of the IHN to inform future reviews of the Falkirk Council: Development Plan; Biodiversity & Development Supplementary Planning Guidance, e.g. site specific surveys to reflect wider IHN implications, including LBAP, Derelict Land, and Central Scotland Forest.

For complete list of the key findings and recommendations please see the report:

Falkirk Integrated Habitat Networks (PDF-2131K)

Funders and partners

  • Falkirk Council
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Central Scotland Forest Trust
  • Scottish Natural Heritage


For further information please contact:

Darren Moseley
Centre for Human and Ecological Sciences
Forest Research
Northern Research Station
EH25 9SY

Tel: 0131 445 6952
E-mail: Darren.Moseley@forestry.gsi.gov.uk