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ECN 20 year datasets released

ECN has released a series of datasets covering ecosystem monitoring at the network's terrestrial sites during the 20 years from 1993-2012.

Our longest running terrestrial ECN sites began operating in 1992, making 1993 the first complete year of data collection. Following the addition of the 2012 data to our database, we now have 20 years of data for these sites.

To mark this milestone, we have added a range of datasets to the CEH Environmental Information Platform, and generated a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each of them. These datasets contain the complete run of data available from our terrestrial sites. Data for eight of the sites span the entire 20 year period. A further four sites began operating after 1993.

Access ECN core data at the resolutions specified in the protocols and under the terms of the ECN data policy. Data are made available through a non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty free licence hosted on the CEH Environmental Information Platform.  You can access these datasets via the DOI links in the table below.


SummaryProtocol code


Click to view protocol Click to access dataset (CEH EIP website)
Meteorology Weather data recorded by Automatic Weather Stations MA
Soil solution chemistry Chemistry of water collected from soils via suction lysimeters. Replicated suction lysimeters at the base of a & b soil horizons are sampled every two-weeks and analysed fo 15 chemical variables. SS
Precipitation chemistry Chemistry of precipitation. Fourteen chemical variables are analysed weekly PC
Surface water chemistry Chemistry of water in rivers and streams (where present on terrestrial sites). Weekly dip samples for 15 chemical variables are taken WC
Surface water discharge Hydrological data of selected rivers/streams on terrestrial sites (where present). Continuous discharge measurements (summarised every 15 minutes) are made WD
Atmospheric chemistry: Nitrogen dioxide Nitrogen dioxide concentration. Passive diffusion tubes are used. The tubes are left out for a two-week period AN
Butterflies Weekly monitoring of butterflies along transects, based on UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme methods IB
Counts of moths by species. Moths are collected nightly (weekly at remote sites), using the method of the Rothamsted Insect Survey IM
Ground predators (carabid beetles) Records of carabid beetles collected at two-weekly intervals from pitfall traps IG
Spittle Bugs Spittle bug nymph density and adult colour morphs are assessed annually IS
Bats Bat species are mapped and their behaviour recorded on transects BA
Birds (Breeding Bird Survey) Bird monitoring following the commonly used Breeding Bird Survey method BB
Frogs Frog spawn development and the pond environment are monitored at sites where ponds are present BF
Grazing animals (rabbits & deer) Grazing animal population size is determined via dropping counts along transects BU


ECN requests that you acknowledge the use of our data sets. This helps us to gauge the extent of use of each dataset and allows us to demonstrate the value of these data for research into environmental change.  We also request that you send us one reprint of any publication that cites the use of our data.