This dataset consists of change data for areas of Broad Habitats across Great Britain between 1990 and 1998. The data are national estimates generated by analysing the sample data from up to 569 1km squares and scaling up to a national level. The data are summarized as percentage increase or decrease in habitat area per Land Class (areas of similar environmental characteristics) and are in a vector format. The sample sites are chosen from a stratified random sample, based on a 15 by 15 km grid of GB and using the 'ITE Land Classification' as a method of stratification. The data were collected as part of Countryside Survey, a unique study or 'audit' of the natural resources of the UK's countryside. The Survey has been carried out at regular intervals since 1978 by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. The countryside is sampled and surveyed using rigorous scientific methods, allowing us to compare new results with those from previous surveys. In this way we can detect the gradual and subtle changes that occur in the UK's countryside over time. Surveys have been carried out in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2007 with repeated visits to the majority of squares. In addition to habitat areas, vegetation species data, soil data, linear habitat data, and freshwater habitat data are also gathered by Countryside Survey.
The data were recorded onto paper field sheets in the summers of 1990 and 1998/1999 by surveyors. Data were recorded from 508 1km squares (1990) and 569 1km squares (1998/1999) sited across Britain, selected by random stratified sample. The areas of UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) Broad Habitats were digitized in 2000. The digitized data were used to generate national estimates of the change in Broad Habitats for Great Britain using the standard Countryside Survey methodology (refer to the online documentation). Estimates are presented as percentage increases/decreases by ITE Land Class (2007 version)