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  • The results of the habitat mapping exercise were derived from aerial photography interpretation (API). The shapefiles produced are available to holders of OS MasterMap licenses. The habitat mapping dataset is held at Plymouth Coastal Observatory however, the Environment Agency is responsible for the GIS data as it was creating using their MasterMap licence. The survey extends from Portland Bill in Dorset to Avonmouth in Bristol and includes the Isles of Scilly. The landward limit of the survey varied but in general is determined by one of the following: Extent of aerial photography; Indicative tidal floodplain; Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs); Extent of coastal BAP habitats; 5m contour with a 200m landward buffer ; Inclusion of other target habitats. The habitat map was originally created using the Integrated Habitat Survey (IHS) classification originally developed by Somerset Environmental Records Centre. The classification was broadened to include all coastal habitats in South West England. The IHS classification had been substantially modified for the purposes of the habitat mapping. THIS was converted to EUNIS L3 by Ian Saunders at NE and forms the data NE provided to the JNCC as part of the MCZ project – Tranche 1. A MESH Confidence Score of 86 was assigned to the dataset based on the information given in the reports supporting the GIS. Orthorectified aerial photography used was flown to a scale of 1:5000. Photography was flown at low tide on a spring tide between the months of April and September to ensure maximum vegetation coverage. As a result of this and due to adverse weather conditions over some of the key tidal windows the whole project area was not captured in one block, but flown in stages between 2006 and 2009. Although ground-truthing was undertaken to support and validate the habitat map, not all areas were ground-truthed.