National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is a detailed system which assesses the full suite of vascular plant, bryophyte and macro-lichen species within a certain vegetation type.

It is based on about 35,000 samples of vegetation which cover nearly all natural, semi-natural and a number of major artificial vegetation communities in terrestrial, freshwater and maritime situations across Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland).

The NVC contrasts with broader-scale classifications, notably the Phase 1 Habitat Classification and the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) broad habitats. These do not break down broad habitat types into such detailed constituent parts as the NVC does. The NVC is, however, less comprehensive in coverage than Phase 1, because it does not encompass habitats which lack vascular plant growth (such as many aquatic and rock habitats), and not all artificial habitats are covered. As the NVC is based solely on plant species composition, its application is limited in certain habitat types where floristics are not the best tool for their definition.

Staff within Quants are in the enviable position of having excellent botanical skills, which means that when an NVC assessment is undertaken, it is completed to a very high standard.