Impacts of Increasing Land Use under Energy Crops - GIS Data, 2006-2009

GIS-based computer generated real-time landscape models, and other computer generated static images were produced and used alongside photographs in more in-depth interviews and focus groups. (Some elements of this dataset are not part of this data submission due to copyright restrictions, though images may be included in the report). The study is part of the NERC Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. Future policies are likely to encourage more land use under energy crops: principally willow, grown as short rotation coppice, and a tall exotic grass Miscanthus. These crops will contribute to the UK's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. However, it is not clear how decisions about appropriate areas for growing the crops, based on climate, soil and water, should be balanced against impacts on the landscape, social acceptance, biodiversity and the rural economy. This project integrated social, economic, hydrological and biodiversity studies in an interdisciplinary approach to assessing the impact of converting land to Miscanthus grass and short-rotation coppice (SRC) willows. Two contrasting farming systems were focused on: the arable-dominated East Midlands; and grassland-dominated South West England. The public attitudes questionnaire data from this study are available at the UK Data Archive under study number 6615 (see online resources). Further documentation for this study may be found through the RELU Knowledge Portal and the project's ESRC funding award web page (see online resources).

Publication date: 2010-12-01


Study area
Temporal extent
2006-01-01    to    2009-09-30

Provenance & quality

Research funded by Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Award Number: RES-227-25-0020 GIS data consists of a series of 100m resolution raster grids in ArcGIS (version 9.3) format for all of England. These include individual layers for each of the eleven factors considered in the analysis, an estimated yield map and combined results. Some of these are in the public domain (e.g. Others were originally obtained from the EDINA Digimap service ( e.g. Ordnance Survey Meridian and Panorama DTM datasets, but are now in the public domain as a results of the recent OS OpenData Initiative ( Other datasets were obtained from NSRI Cranfield (NatMap 1km soils), CEH (Land Cover Map 2000), Forest Research (National Inventory of Woodland and Trees), Natural England (Biodiversity Action Plan habitats and existing energy crop planting) and English Heritage (scheduled monuments) under academic research agreements for the project and cannot be distributed further under the terms of these agreements. The ESRC award page (see online resources) hosts a publication (Lovett et al. 2009) which describes the collection of the GIS data set in detail.

Correspondence/contact details

Andrew Lovett
University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences

Other contacts

Andrew Lovett
University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences


Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
WGS 84


Topic categories
Biota , Environment , Farming
Agricultural economics,  Agricultural land,  Agronomy,  Biofuels,  Bridgwater,  Countryside conservation,  Crops,  East midlands (region),  Farming systems,  Farms,  Fuel resources,  Impacts of increasing land use under energy crops,  Land use,  Lincoln,  Renewable energy,  Retford,  Rural economics,  Rural Economy and Land Use Programme,  Rural environment,  Rural planning,  South west england (region),  Taunton
Land Use