An ecological survey of the English county of Cumbria, using standardised survey methods, was undertaken by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (a forerunner of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) in 1975 within a stratified random set of sites. In total, up to 650 plots were surveyed from within 48 x 1km squares. A later survey was also undertaken in 1978, covering up to 262 plots in the marginal uplands. Plant species, habitat and land use types, major biota present (and in some cases soils) were collected. The survey sampling framework - the Land Classification of Cumbria - is also available.