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ECN's monitoring sites

ECN terrestrial sites

There are 11 active terrestrial sites, ranging from upland to lowland and covering a wide range of habitats including semi-natural grassland, woodland, moorland, peatland and arable cropland. These sites are operated by a subset of ECN consortium partners. Each site has a dedicated and highly knowledgeable Site Manager whose duties include carrying out the ECN protocols and submitting the data to the ECN Data Centre.

ECN freshwater sites

The freshwater component of ECN comprises both lakes and rivers/streams. Data from the majority of these sites are collected by the environment agencies in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales as part of their statutory duty to monitor water bodies under the Water Framework Directive. The remaining sites are operated by a range of ECN partners. Several of the sites are Upland Waters Monitoring Network sites.


Co-location of monitoring operations is important for providing added value to datasets, and is also financially and operationally more efficient. Four of the ECN terrestrial sites are co-located with ECN stream sites, whilst many of ECN terrestrial sites are equipped with soil moisture monitoring arrays operated by the COSMOS-UK network and several lakes have automatic lake monitoring stations, part of UKLEON. Furthermore, four ECN sites are also location for Long-Term Experiments (LTEs) supported by the Ecological Continuity Trust.

Overview map

To learn more about sites in the ECN network, select from the site list or locate it on our interactive map.

Map of ECN sites


ECN sites: Great places for research & teaching

The wide range of regular environmental measurements, wealth of historical data and local knowledge of site managers mean that many ECN sites are excellent locations for field environmental research and teaching. An increasing number of scientists have discovered the benefits of locating their research at our sites. If you are also interested in conducting research at an ECN site, please contact us. There are also currently some opportunities for people outside the UK to visit selected ECN sites as part of EU-funded projects.

Geopgraphy MSc students on a field trip to ECN Cairngorms

Geopgraphy MSc students on a field trip to ECN Cairngorms

 Laura C. at Wytham

Botanical surveying at Wytham