GIS for National Parks

SCGIS in UK National Parks

Providing on-site and remote GIS services to diverse teams in National Park Authorities

Working with SDNPA's Environment Strategy Lead on the development of a Nature Recovery Network, SCGIS produced a series of Illustrative Opportunities maps for each of the ten National Parks in England. This began with the compilation of spatial datasets at the national and local level followed by a data review and the generation of opportunity areas & connective links, which were then mapped in a consistent style for internal and reporting use by the NPAs and by NPE. An example of some of the material produced can be seen in The Broads Nature Recovery Delivery Prospectus.

As part of a successful joint bid with Sheils Flynn in 2019 for a contract to update and refresh YDNPA's Landscape Character Assessment, SCGIS has been engaged to provide a simple, easy-to-use online map to make the report more accessible to users.

SCGIS was awarded a three year contract to provide GIS services to the SDNPA beginning in July 2013. This was extended for a further two years to 2018 and awarded to SCGIS again following a second open tendering process.

Most of the work is carried out on-site at the South Downs Centre in Midhurst, where SCGIS staff sit alongside project officers delivering GIS solutions to all teams within the Authority. Work ranges from simple site maps that support planning application decisions to the design, development and implementation of Park wide spatial data collection, compilation and analysis activities.

In addition to providing GIS services, SCGIS also provide comprehensive training in ESRI ArcGIS and QGIS. Training schedules are designed to meet the current needs of the SDNPA staff; ranging from one-to-one tuition for project specific tasks to more generic group training.

In 2018 we conducted a Pilot study “Monitoring the SDNPA from space”, which helped the SDNPA derive a land-cover baseline from Sentinel 2 data to support the landscape related KPI’s in the park's management plan. This pilot work has developed into several work packages that will run through to 2020.

Two of our senior analysts spent some time at the New Forest National Park Authority's office in Lymington, providing guidance, hints and tips on how to structure GIS projects with large amounts of data to allow for efficient viewing and geo-processing. Through our brief time at the NFNPA office, and by asking the right questions, one of our team went on to develop a tool that saved the Heritage Mapping team days of effort in loading field data into their GIS project. This was subsequently adopted by the SDNPA for some of their 'Tranquility Study' field-work.