Ecosystems & Species Expert Groups

The groups are no longer active and information on this page is not current and is for reference purposes only.

The Wales Biodiversity Ecosystems Groups bring together habitat and relevant associated species interests at the Wales-level to provide an integrated, informed and independent overview of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation requirements. The Ecosystem & Species Expert Groups provide independent advice to Welsh Government, statutory authorities and others with management responsibilities that impact on biodiversity and strengthen the delivery mechanism between Wales-level ecosystem groups and LBAP partnerships/regional biodiversity groups.

The nine ecosystem groups have undertaken a mapping exercise of the priority habitat resource in Wales. The maps and the accompanying habitat synopsis provide partner organisations a mechanism to:

Prioritise action focusing on habitats/species in greatest need of management within each geographical area; Help identify key areas for large-scale projects; Provide a focus for drawing down external funding; Allows WBP Wales-level groups to concentrate on providing specific advice and assistance to LBAPs and WBP partner organizations on areas of national importance.

For detailed information relating to priority habitats in specific regions of Wales refer to the appropriate habitat category below.

The Nature Recovery Action Plan will focus on delivery of nature objectives in Wales. The Nature Recovery Action Implementation group will steer and drive the delivery at a national and local level. A series of specific task and finish groups will be established drawing on the expertise of the Wales’ Ecosystem and Species Expert Groups together with other working groups and the wider WBP membership.

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Evidence and Research Needs (BEERN) Programme

The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Evidence and Research Needs (BEERN) Programme aims to identify and address biodiversity and ecosystem evidence and research needs that will deliver and impact on Welsh policy and delivery priorities, particularly those set out by the Nature Recovery Action Plan.

The programme engages with the research community in Wales and beyond, delivers new approaches and integrates with existing mechanisms to ensure good provision of evidence and advice to the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, the broader environmental sector and others.

The programme seeks to:
  • Bring together practitioners, policy-makers and academics from across Wales to identify gaps in our evidence base;
  • Provide a mechanism and route for translating these gaps into deliverable research projects;
  • Prioritise and fund projects according to need (based on policy and delivery priorities)
  1. Summary of research projects receiving grants 2019

The programme takes forward, refreshes and strengthens the work of the WBP Evidence Gaps Project. We thank all those who contributed to the project.

Steering Group

A steering group oversees the implementation of the programme. Its members include Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Cardiff University Sustainable Places Research Institute, Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, JNCC, Plantlife, RSPB, Wales Environment Link and the Wildlife Trust.

Natural Resources Wales Marine Biodiversity Evidence Needs

Natural Resources Wales have identified priority evidence needs relating to some of their marine biodiversity work. For further information please visit the NRW website. The document below outlines the projects that NRW consider to be of high priority, and where they wish to explore opportunities for collaborative working.

  1. NRW Marine Biodiversity Collaborative Research Priorities

The Group comprises the chairs of the nine ecosystem groups, species expert group and invasive non-native group. The group meets bi-annually to exchange experience, best practice, discuss opportunities for joint-working, raise issues and agree actions for the relevant groups.

The group was chaired by Matthew Quinn, Director of Environment, Welsh Government

Meeting Archive

  1. Chairs Meeting October 2015
  2. Chairs Meeting July 2015
  3. Chairs Meeting November 2014
  4. Chairs Meeting July 2014
  5. Chairs Meeting October 2013
  6. Chairs Meeting March 2013
  7. Chairs Meeting November 2012
  8. Chairs Meeting April 2012
  9. Chairs Meeting September 2011
  10. Chairs Meeting January 2011
  11. Chairs Meeting October 2010
  12. Chairs Meeting April 2010
  13. Chairs Meeting October 2009

The WBP Species Expert Group acts as a single point of contact for any species and/ or species habitat queries from the Ecosystem Groups. It is made up of representatives from each of the main taxonomic groups (mammals, birds, herptiles, fish, invertebrates, vascular plants, lower plants), including statutory agency and environmental NGO specialists. The group has the following primary roles:

  • To provide, either directly or via seeking information elsewhere, relevant habitat management advice for particular species or groups of species.
  • Identify habitat/site priorities and integrate species actions across taxa and, maintain a list of priority actions for implementation by Ecosystem Groups and other delivery bodies.

If you would like to submit a biodiversity-related or ecosystem approach evidence gap to this group please contact us

If your gap could be addressed through research activity/ a specific research project, please visit the Evidence Gaps Project page and click on the link 'Formulating Questions for Scientific Research'


  1. S7 Priority species in Wales
  2. Wales Species habitat_integration outline (pdf)


  1. Species Expert Group Meeting May 2016 draft
  2. SEG partner updates Winter 2016

Meeting Archive

  1. Species Expert Group Meeting Jan 2016
  2. Species Expert Group Meeting Aug 2015
  3. Species Expert Group Meeting Nov 2014
  4. Species Expert Group Meeting June 2014
  5. Species Expert Group Meeting February 2014
  6. Species Expert Group Meeting November 2013
  7. Species Expert Group Meeting 8 March 2012
  8. Species Expert Group Meeting March 2009

SG Meeting Archive

Use the links below to access papers and minutes of previous WBP SG Meetings. If you require minutes and papers prior to SG 12 use the contact link

WBP SG19 February 2013, Swansea

  1. WBP SG19 minutes (pdf)
  2. WBP SG19 Papers (pdf)

WBP SG18 November 2012, Bangor

  1. WBP SG18 Minutes (pdf)
  2. WBP SG18 Papers (pdf)

WBP SG17 July 2012 Aberystwyth

  1. WBP SG17 Minutes (pdf)
  2. SG17 Papers (pdf)

WBP SG 16 Feb 2012 Newport

  1. SG16 Papers Feb 2012 (pdf)
  2. SG16 Papers Feb 2012 (pdf)

WBP SG15 Nov 2011 Wrexham

  1. SG15 Minutes Nov 2011 (doc)
  2. SG15 Papers Nov 2011 (pdf)

SG14 July 2011 Aberystwyth

  1. SG14 Papers (pdf)
  2. SG14 Papers (pdf)

SG13 Feb 2011 Cardiff

  1. SG13 Minutes (pdf)
  2. SG13 Papers (pdf)

SG12 Nov 2010 Bangor

  1. WBP SG12 minutes (pdf)
  2. WBP SG12 Papers (pdf)

*Update *

The UK BARS Partnership (Defra, Natural England, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Wales Biodiversity Partnership and Joint Nature Conservation Committee) has taken the difficult decision to discontinue support for BARS. Uptake of the system has been limited and it has failed to present a comprehensive picture of biodiversity action across the UK.

BARS closed at the end of November 2016.

Until BARS closes, users may run reports to summarise their actions and projects. All the data on the system will be archived in early December and each organisation will be offered a prepared download of their own data, including spatial locations. Organisation administrators will be sent details of how to download their archives after the system has closed.

For further information on the closure, see the BARS closure notice and information note.

Alternative reporting mechanisms are being explored and cases for use developed.

The BARS Partnership

BARS development is supported by a UK partnership between DEFRA, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and the Wales Biodiversity Partnership.


  1. BARS closure notification
  2. BARS information note
  3. Biodiversity Action Reporting System

Environmental data is gathered in Wales by a wide range of bodies (including public, private and third sector organisations) and for a wide range of purposes. The Wales Environmental Information Forum (WEIF) was tasked with looking at data collection, flow and usage and produced a Data Sharing Charter outlining the approach in Wales. The Charter aims to ensure that any data collected is shared so that it is used to inform and benefit all parties with an interest in the environment of Wales. The Charter is the embodiment of the aspiration to collect data once, but to use it many times.


  1. Data Sharing Charter

The group's second phase of work looked at reviewing and developing the biodiversity process to improve delivery of action on the ground so that Wales is able to meet international, European Union (EU) and Welsh biodiversity targets.

The group has now disbanded and the work has been taken on by the Wales Biodiversity Strategy Board.


  1. Future of BAP ToR
  2. Future of BAP Actions July 2011
  3. Future of BAP Actions May 2011

Species in Wales

Amphibians & Reptiles



Terrestrial Mammals



Helping Wildlife

Wildlife Gardening