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Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
Legal Status
Research organisation
Crowmarsh Gifford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology - Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Wallingford, PO: OX10 8BB, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
United Kingdom
Current Status:
Operational since 1997
Scientific Description
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. As part of the Natural Environment Research Council, we provide National Capability based on innovative, independent and interdisciplinary science and long-term environmental monitoring, forming an integral part of NERC's vision and strategy. Working in partnership with the research community, policy-makers, industry and society, we deliver world-class solutions to the most complex environmental challenges facing humankind.CEH has four research sites, located at Bangor, Edinburgh, Lancaster and Wallingford (CEH headquarters).

RI Keywords
Hydrology, Environmental research, Biodiversity, Biogeochemistry, Ecosystems, Terrestrial science, Ecology, Freshwater science
RI Category
Earth, Ocean, Marine, Freshwater, and Atmosphere Data Centres
In situ Marine/Freshwater Observatories
Conceptual Models
Agronomy, Forestry, Plant Breeding Centres
Data Mining and Analysis (Methodological) Centers, including statistical analysis
Data Archives, Data Repositories and Collections
Genomic, Transcriptomic, Proteomics and Metabolomics Facilities
Research Data Service Facilities
Bio-informatics Facilities
Scientific Domain
Earth and Environmental Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Access data from soil moisture monitoring stations (COSMOS-UK)

A newly established long-term network of soil moisture monitoring stations. The network provides near-real time soil moisture data ( for use in a variety of applications including farming, water resources, flood forecasting and land-surface modelling. Each station is equipped with an instrument that uses cosmic-rays to sense soil moisture over an area of about 20 hectares (about 50 acres). Data from the network have the potential to transform the way that we understand and model the natural environment.

CEH sites in the ExpeER network

• Moorhouse (Observational site): habitats include exposed summits, extensive blanket peatlands and upland grassland, underlain by Carboniferous geology, with alternating strata of limestone, sandstone and shale. • Whim (Experimental site): Whim bog, offers a globally unique comparison of how the main N forms affect semi-natural vegetation, with meteorological data and treatment history since 2002. • Plynlimon (Observation site): The infrastructure at Plynlimon consists of 10 instrumented research catchments representing different land use options on the same geological parent material. The infrastructure records high temporal resolution river flow and meteorological data (40 year data record) and weekly stream water and precipitation chemistry.

EIDC - Environmental Information Data Centre

The EIDC coordinates CEH data activities and is the NERC Data Centre for the Terrestrial and Freshwater Sciences. It brings together wide-ranging nationally-important datasets and expertise in managing different types of environmental data. The aim of the EIDC is to give researchers access to the coordinated data resources and informatics tools needed to find answers to complex, multidisciplinary environmental questions. The data can be accessed via the CEH, Information Gateway (CIG, is the tool for viewing and accessing data resources held by the EIDC and other providers in the UK. At the heart of the CIG is a readily searchable repository of metadata records.

CEH Analytical Services

CEH has several analytical services in the fields of environmental monitoring, research and impact assessment which are available to external organisations and researchers. The experience and expertise of our staff allows us to offer a range of bespoke services, and we have achieved ISO 17025 compliance for our more frequently requested methods. These include a range of analyses in laboratories at CEH's Lancaster site accredited to ISO 17025. Including UKAS-accredited facilities offering inorganic chemical analysis of nutrients and metals; radiochemical analysis; and stable isotopic analysis of environmental samples.

National River Flow Archive

The NRFA is the UK’s focal point for river flow data. The NRFA collates, quality controls, and archives hydrometric data from gauging station networks across the UK including the extensive networks operated by the Environment Agency (England and Wales), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Rivers Agency (Northern Ireland). River flow data for ~400 gauging stations can be downloaded from this website. Data for a further ~1000 gauging stations can be requested via our manual retrieval service. The data are available free-of-charge for academic research or educational uses.

Biological Records Centre

The BRC, established in 1964, is a national focus in the UK for terrestrial and freshwater species recording. BRC works closely with the voluntary recording community, principally through support of national recording schemes and societies. BRC is supported by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) within the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The work of BRC is a major component of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN).

NERC Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility

The Lancaster Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility is one of the three facilities that form the grade 5 NERC Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility (LSMSF). It provides an extensive range of services from stable isotope analyses through to technical development and scientific research for a wide range of UK universities, higher education institutes, CEH sites, government agencies and the private sector. The LSMSF Lancaster-node provides a highly specialised unit for the light stable isotope analysis of biological, terrestrial and environmental materials for the ecological research community. The main strength of the facility is its exclusive combination of sample preparation equipment, analytical instrumentation and staff expertise.


A wide variety of equipment is available to support all aspects of CEH science.

ExpeER (Experimentation in Ecosystem Research)
INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic)
Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER)
ILTER (International Long Term Ecological Research)
InGOS (Integrated non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Observing Systems)
ECN (the UK Environmental Change Network)
ALTER-Net (Biodiversity Research Network)
Date of last update: 05/07/2019
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