I am trying to add these layer files to QGIS but when I go to import they do not appear in the folder as they are saved as .lyr files but this is not an option.

I am sure there is a really basic thing I am doing wrong!

the files are the UKHabs files.


QGIS does not natively read .lyr files. However, you might want to check out North Road's SLYR product.

Also, I've never heard of a UKHabs file, so I don't know how that might impact your issue.


A layer (.lyr) file is an ESRI file format that not intended (by ESRI) to be used outside of ESRI product (not an open format).

it has mainly two important functions:

  • It contains a link or a pointer to the location of the Data.
  • It contains information on how to render or draw the Data.

Note that the .lyr doesn't contain any data.

To use it in QGIS you may have a look the SLYR plugin (it seem that the import from .style is free while other functionality (like importing whole MXD or .lyr) are not).

Another option is to add the raw data to QGIS and style it yourself (more time consuming and if you need the exact same style you must know how it's supposed to look like)

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