Heaths in the British National Vegetation Classification system

From Wikipedia

This article gives an overview of the heath communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system.


The heath communities of the NVC were described, along with the mire communities, in Volume 2 of British Plant Communities, first published in 1991.

In total, 22 heath communities have been identified.

The heath communities consist of six separate subgroups:

  • five lowland dry heath communities, all with distinct, largely non-overlapping distributions in England and Wales ( H1, H2, H6, H8 and H9)
  • three localised communities, with non-overlapping ranges in southern England, which are considered transitional between the above and the wetter communities classified in the NVC as mires ( H3, H4 and H5)
  • two maritime heath communities, found exclusively on the coasts of northern and western Britain; one ( H7) is more widespread than the other ( H11)
  • four submontane heaths from upland areas in northern and western Britain; two of these ( H10 and H12) are widespread, whereas the other two ( H16 and H21) are more localised (confined to Scotland, and Scotland and the Lake District, respectively)
  • two sub-alpine communities, considered transitional between the previous and next groupings - H18, which is widespread in northern and western Britain), and H22, which is confined to Scotland
  • six montane heath communities with lichens and mosses, all of which are confined either to Scotland ( H13, H14, H15, H17 and H20) or to Scotland and the Lake District ( H19)

List of heath communities

The following is a list of the communities that make up this category:


  • Rodwell, J. S. (1988) British Plant Communities Volume 2 - Mires and heaths ISBN  0-521-62720-6 pages vii, 347 - 358