The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) 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 (NERC), CEH provides National Capability based on innovative, independent and interdisciplinary science and long-term environmental monitoring. This forms an integral part of NERC's vision and strategy.
Scientists at CEH have specialist skills in a wide range of environmental disciplines, ranging in scale from the gene to whole Earth systems. Research is designed to improve understanding of both the natural environment and the ecological processes that underlie the Earth's support systems. CEH is particularly interested in the impacts of human activity, such as agriculture and land use, on natural environments.
Research at CEH describes and understands the dynamics of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems through integrated monitoring, experimentation and modelling. CEH seeks to enhance the UK’s industrial competitiveness through technology transfer and to improve research training in the UK and capacity building overseas. CEH is also the custodian of nationally-important environmental data, with a key role in promoting public awareness and understanding through communication of relevant research.
CEH conducts its research within the structure of a five-year Science Strategy and Delivery Plan with annual updated Operating Plans. We deliver our Strategy by Science Areas underpinned by Monitoring & Observation Systems and Environmental Informatics, through Business and Policy Innovation, and Public Engagement. Environmental Informatics has created the INSPIRE-compliant CEH Information Gateway to provide easier access to terrestrial and freshwater datasets. (See link below).
CEH was created in 2000 through a merger of four formerly independent institutes. It has approx. 450 staff and students with well-equipped laboratories and field facilities at four main sites across Great Britain. The headquarters of CEH are at Wallingford, 20km south of Oxford. The other sites are at Bangor, Edinburgh and Lancaster.
CEH has an annual budget of about 41 million Euro, and is financed both by NERC core funding and a wide range of contracted research projects carried out for government customers, the private sector and the European Research Framework Programme.