General Information
Description of Network
The majority of the UK's Long-Term Ecosystem Research sites are part of the multi-agency UK Environmental Change Network (ECN or UK ECN). These are complemented by additional research and monitoring sites operated by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), and the Cairngorms National Park Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platform. The ECN is the UK’s long-term, site-based environmental monitoring and research (LTER) programme. The network, which was launched in 1992, comprises sites spanning the UK, at which regular measurements are made (following a set of standard protocols) of plant and animal communities and their physical and chemical environment. The ECN long-term datasets, which are centrally managed and made freely available to users, enable greater understanding of the effects of climate change, air pollution and other environmental pressures on UK ecosystems. The core of the ECN is a set of terrestrial sites. Additional data were obtained from freshwater sites (lakes, rivers, streams) up until 2012 (to our knowledge data is still routinely collected at these sites). ECN is centrally managed by UKCEH.

The additional UKCEH sites are internationally-known locations such as Whim Bog, Conwy and Plynlimon. They are the focus for a range of long-term ecosystem studies. The Cairngorms National Park LTSER platform is the UK's first LTSER. It is a partnership aiming to encourage collaborative, multi-disciplinary studies to enhance social, economic and ecological knowledge relevant to the sustainable management of the park. The ECN and UKCEH sites included in the UK LTER collectively cover a wide range of upland and lowland habitats including moorland, chalk grassland, woods and forests, farmland, small ponds and streams, large rivers and lakes.

The UK ECN network is described in Sier, A and Monteith, D. 2016. The UK Environmental Change Network after twenty years of integrated ecosystem assessment: Key findings and future perspectives. Ecological Indicators 68, 1-12 (
Belongs to
Verified member sites
59 sites:
Alice Holt (LTER_EU_UK_055)
Allt a'Mharcaidh (LTER_EU_UK_031)
Birnie Burn (LTER_EU_UK_044)
Bradgate Brook (LTER_EU_UK_026)
Cairngorms (ECN site) (LTER_EU_UK_058)
Cairngorms National Park LTSER (LTER_EU_UK_059)
Conwy catchment (LTER_EU_UK_076)
Cringle Brook (LTER_EU_UK_024)
Esthwaite Water (LTER_EU_UK_005)
Glensaugh (LTER_EU_UK_048)
2 sites:
Narrator Brook (LTER_EU_UK_068)
River Etherow (LTER_EU_UK_067)
Observed Properties
water parameter Researched by 58 sites
ecosystem parameter Researched by 58 sites
water acidity Researched by 57 sites
total organic carbon Researched by 56 sites
water quality Researched by 55 sites
conductivity Researched by 54 sites
dissolved organic carbon in water Researched by 48 sites
Site Map
Covered Biomes

*This page is generated automatically using the available information in DEIMS-SDR describing the sites in this network/RI. Sites that are not documented on DEIMS-SDR are not featured on this page. We cannot therefore guarantee that this page will always reflect the actual list of sites for the network/RI.