Natural Heritage Systems

“A natural heritage system is an ecologically based delineation of nature and natural function – a system of connected or to be connected green and natural areas that provide ecological functions over a longer period of time and enable movement of species. Natural heritage systems encompass or incorporate natural features, functions and linkages (also referred to as ‘corridors’) as component parts within them and across the landscape. They also enable the linking of different landscapes.”

Reference for the above: Natural Heritage reference manual, 2nd edition, 2010, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. For a closer look at Ontario provincial planning policies related to natural heritage systems go to the Ministry of Natural Resources website at

Ontario Provincial Policy Statement 2005, policy 2.1.2: “ The diversity and connectivity of natural features in an area, and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems should be maintained, restored or, where possible, improved, recognizing linkages between and among natural heritage features and areas, surface water features and ground water features. “

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