Natura 2000 is an ecological network of protected areas, set up to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats. Based on the 1979 Birds Directive and the 1992 Habitats Directive, it provides safeguards for numerous ecosystem services and ensures that Europe’s natural system remain healthy and resilient. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the entire of the EU’s Natura 2000 database (ca 265000 sites) there’s a really useful tool which I’ve just come across available here –

A map based viewer, sites designated under the Birds directive are displayed in red and in blue for the habitats directive. You can carry out searches by location, site type or particular species. It’s a great resource and should be of particular use for early assessment for developers or planners. It’s nicely intuitive and you can flip between aerial view and map view very quickly, with an opacity button to enhance whatever element you want.

Here’s a screenshot (just click to embiggen):

Natura 2000 Viewer

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