Skip to Content

C3a. Status of UK habitats of European importance

Updated 5 December 2019

Type: State indicator

Indicator Description

Member States of the European Union are required to report every 6 years on the conservation status of habitats and species of community interest (listed in the Annexes of the Habitats Directive). These are habitats and species for which the UK has European-level conservation responsibilities. 

The assessments need to conclude whether each habitat of European importance found in the UK is in a: 'Favourable', 'Unfavourable-Inadequate', 'Unfavourable-Bad' or 'Unknown' conservation status. These categories are combined in the indicator as explained in the online fiche. This indicator is based on an evaluation of whether the results of the most recent assessment (2019) are better or worse than those for the previous assessments (2007 and 2013).


  1. Summary


This indicator has been updated with new data from the 2019 UK Habitats Directive Article 17 report to the European Union.

In 2007, 5% of UK habitats listed in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive were in favourable conservation status. This figure decreased to 3% in 2013 before increasing again to 8% in 2019 (Figure C3ai).

The conservation status of 48% of the habitats was unfavourable-improving in 2007. It decreased to 31% in 2013 and 20% in 2019.

The conservation status of 30% of the habitats was unfavourable-declining in 2007. This decreased to 25% in 2013 and 23% in 2019.

The proportion of the habitats assessed as unfavourable-stable increased from 10% in 2007, to 38% in 2013, and 48% in 2019.


Figure C3ai. Conservation status of UK habitats of European importance, 2007, 2013 and 2019.



  1. The chart is based on 77 habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive.
  2. Trends in 'unfavourable' conservation status allow identification of whether progress is being made, as it will take many years for some habitats and species to reach 'favourable' conservation status.

Source: UK Habitats Directive (Article 17) reports to the EU, 2007, 2013 and 2019.


Assessment of change in status of UK habitats of European importance


Long term

Short term

Latest year

Percentage of UK habitats of European importance in favourable or improving conservation status



Not assessed

Note: The long- and short-term assessments are based on a 3% rule of thumb. See Assessing Indicators. No latest-year change is provided because Article 17 reports are only submitted once every 6 years and therefore, any latest-year change would simply mirror the short-term assessment.



Download the fiche and datasheet from the JNCC Resource Hub

Last updated: December 2019

Latest data: 2019



UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019

Published: .

Back to top