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Identifying a wetland

Identifying a wetland

Updated 26 March 2021 4:20pm

To protect wetlands, we need to be able to identify them.

If you discover a wet, soggy or spongy patch on your land, it could be a wetland.

Wetlands are found wherever the water table is close to the soil surface, or in areas prone to flooding. They can be areas where ponding occurs and remains, and where springs emerge.

If you have a wetland on your property, you have an important role in the protection of this valuable resource.

Wetland identification guide

Wetlands range from those that are permanently wet, to some that are only wet for parts of the year. Check out our photo ID guide, which displays some of the key plants to look out for.

Download the wetland photo ID guide

You can request a hard copy of this ID guide by emailing us at

Natural Wetland identification flowchart

Identification can be tricky as no two wetlands are the same, and some can even dry out from time to time! To help you through the identification process, we have developed a flowchart.

Download the natural wetland ID flowchart

Sometimes further assessment needs to be done by an expert. Get in touch for free specialist advice at

Frequently asked questions

Get the answers to some of the most common questions people have about wetlands.

Read our wetland FAQs

Wetland Technical Determination

Further information on the more technical aspects of wetland identification, we have a Wetland Technical determination guide.

Download the Wetland Technical Determination document

We know wetland identification is often difficult. If you require further help, please get in touch with us through as we can assist with specialist advice.