The Habitats Directive requires European protected habitat types and habitats of species to be brought to and maintained in a favourable conservation status. Knowledge of the environmental requirements and the pattern of flora in these habitat types and habitats is essential in order to meet this requirement. In this project (running from 2015 to 2020), a thorough abiotic and biotic characterisation of environmental pressures will be performed. On the basis of this, quality standards/benchmarks will be determined which can then be included in a legislative framework. The creation of a link in a large number of test plots for each of the distinguished habitat types and habitats between the pattern of flora and data concerning soil, groundwater, surface water and air variables will enable quantitative environmental quality standards to be distilled. Using the information obtained, where plans and projects are put forward that will exert an environmental pressure on existing habitat types and habitats, it will be possible to decide in a scientific and objective manner whether or not to perform an appropriate assessment. This should reduce both the element of uncertainty in planning permission policy and the cost of restoration management.