Environmental Change Network


ECN logoThe Environmental Change Network (ECN) is an integrated monitoring programme, which provides a network of sites in the UK where comparable environmental measurements are made. Its overall objective is to provide comparable environmental data to aid in the detection of environmental change and its effects across the UK.

Alice Holt forest is one of twelve sites, which currently make up the ECN terrestrial network and which operate to a uniform system of long term data collection of core measurements. The site (Latitude 0 deg 50 min W, Longitude 51 deg 10 min N) lies in the Weald between the North and South Downs in southern England. The target sampling square is located in semi-natural oak woodland, although the principal species within the 850 ha of Alice Holt forest is Corsican pine.

Map of ECN sites (37K)

Research objectives

  • To provide integration and analysis of environmental data to improve our understanding of the drivers and responses of environmental change
  • To identify natural and human induced change and understand their causes
  • To make comparable long-term data sets available for research purposes.

Funders and partners

A consortium of sponsoring organizations consisting of Government Departments and Agencies operates the ECN network. The network is managed on their behalf by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).

Forestry Commission logo
The Alice Holt site is run by Forest Research on behalf of the Forestry Commission and is funded by the Forestry Commission Integrated forest monitoring programme.

Further information

Related research

Forestry Commission policy

The Forestry Commission is committed to maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity of the nation's woodlands as laid out in the Helsinki Guidelines, the UK Forestry Standard, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and Sustainable Forestry: the UK Programme. The Environmental Change Network Research Programme supports these objectives through the long-term monitoring of woodland condition and by identifying the underlying causes of any changes observed.


The Environmental Change Network (ECN) was set up in 1993 to carry out integrated long-term environmental monitoring. The programme is on-going.


Sue Benham