Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is the UK`s Centre of Excellence for research in the land and freshwater environmental sciences. CEH`s staff have specialist skills in a wide range of environmental disciplines, ranging from the smallest scale (the gene) to the largest scale (whole Earth systems). Our research is aimed at improving understanding both of the environment as we see it today and the natural processes that underlie the Earth`s support systems - for example climate & water resources. We are particularly interested in the impacts of human activity on natural environments.

Company details

Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford , Wallingford, Oxfordshire , OX10 8BB United Kingdom


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Business Type:
Research institute
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is a public-sector research centre - part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - which delivers independent research, survey, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences to advance knowledge of planet Earth as a complex, interacting system.

We conduct independent mission-driven research in support of NERC's strategic goals and work in close partnership with the scientific community, government departments and agencies, as well as the private sector.

Located at sites in England, Scotland and Wales, our National Capability and extensive network of long-term monitoring and experimental field sites provide access to diverse ecosystems and support an internationally renowned research capacity.

Our research is aimed at improving understanding of the environment and the processes that support life on Earth. We are particularly interested in the impacts of human activity on the world around us and in developing ready-to-use approaches for achieving environmental sustainability.

Our skills and expertise range from the smallest scale (the gene) to the largest scale (whole Earth systems). Our science tackles the environment in a holistic manner, integrating a wide range of scientific disciplines. This combines basic, applied and strategic research.

We are a major custodian of environmental data, including 20 million records of 12,000 species occurring across Britain and Ireland, as well as records of over 50,000 station years of daily and monthly river flow data, derived from over 1,300 gauging stations throughout the UK.

We are engaged in major international networks, such as the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER) and the EurAqua Network of European Freshwater Research Organisations. We also lead European and global research efforts including the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops and NitroEurope IP.

Our unique combination of cross-cutting scientific expertise, long-term environmental monitoring and state-of-the-art research infrastructure enable us to deliver practicable solutions so that future generations can benefit from a rich and healthy environment.

Our Vision

•    To be the world-leading centre for integrated science in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

Our Mission

•    The centre for ecology & 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 (nerc), 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 is a large and complex organisation, with sites at Bangor, Edinburgh, Lancaster and Wallingford (CEH headquarters). Our science is multidisciplinary and is delivered through three interdependent Science Programmes, Biodiversity, Biogeochemistry and Water, supported by an Environmental Information Data Centre.

Management and infrastructure

Director Mark J Bailey leads the organisation through a number boards and committees:

  • The Executive Board, comprising Director CEH, Science Programme Directors and Director Resource & Operations, is responsible for the operational policies and procedures of CEH. It is supported by committees which focus on key areas such as finance, people and skills and estates management.
  • The Science Board, which also comprises Director CEH, Science Programme Directors and Director Resource & Operations, is responsible for CEH's Science Strategy. This Board is supported by Programme Colleges of senior science staff.

Finance, People and Skills, Facilities Management, Computer Support, Knowledge Transfer, Health and Safety and Quality Assurance operations are managed from CEH's Wallingford headquarters.

External advice

CEH receives advice from two external groups:

  • The Advisory Committee, which advises the Director on strategic issues affecting our stakeholders.
  • The Programme Development Group, which advises the Science Directors on specific science priorities.


CEH receives science budget funding from NERC, as well as income from external customers - primarily government departments and agencies including Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Environment Agency. In addition, staff apply for competitive awards from NERC for research projects and studentships. Funding is also obtained from European Research Framework Programmes.

Further details are contained in the NERC Annual Report and Accounts 2010-201