The UK’s new Land Cover Map is published today (Wednesday 6 July), providing a continuous coverage of habitat distributions across the countryside at a 25m resolution. The map was developed using a combination of satellite images and national scale digital mapping data. The new map is the third in a series produced by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology on behalf of the long running Countryside Survey partnership. Previous Land Cover Maps were produced in 1990 and 2000.
Land cover was derived from more than 70 satellite images collected between 2005 and 2008. The satellite images contain spectral information which corresponds to different ground surfaces and vegetation types in both summer and winter. An automated classification process was used to assign a land cover type based on existing Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad Habitats to approximately 10 million land parcels. The UK BAP Broad Habitats are widely used in monitoring and reporting on our countryside.
Land parcels - identifying real world objects such as fields, lakes and settlements - were derived from existing national cartography products, such as the Ordnance Survey’s MasterMap Topography Layer in combination with several other sources of spatial data. This use of digital cartography makes it easy to integrate the new map with other datasets, opening the door for many new potential applications, as well as improving the ability to monitor future changes in UK land cover. Read More