Rowland, C.S.; Morton, R.D.; Carrasco, L.; McShane, G.; O'Neil, A.W.; Wood, C.M.

Land Cover Map 2015 (vector, GB)

This dataset consists of the vector version of the Land Cover Map 2015 (LCM2015) for Great Britain. The vector data set is the core LCM data set from which the full range of other LCM2015 products is derived. It provides a number of attributes including land cover at the target class level (given as an integer value and also as text), the number of pixels within the polygon classified as each land cover type and a probability value provided by the classification algorithm (for full details see the LCM2015 Dataset Documentation). The 21 target classes are based on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Broad Habitats, which encompass the entire range of UK habitats. LCM2015 is a land cover map of the UK which was produced at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology by classifying satellite images from 2014 and 2015 into 21 Broad Habitat-based classes. It is the latest in a series of land cover maps, which began with Land Cover Map of Great Britain (LCMGB) in 1990 (LCMGB is now often referred to as LCM1990), and was followed by Land Cover Maps for 2000 and 2007 (LCM2000 and LCM2007 respectively), both of which covered the entire UK.

LCM2015 consists of a range of raster and vector products and users should familiarise themselves with the full range (see related records, the CEH web site and the LCM2015 Dataset documentation) to select the product most suited to their needs.

Publication date: 2017-04-12

Get the data

Bespoke licensing conditions apply to these data. If you choose to download the data, the CEH Data Licensing team will contact you to negotiate a licence.

This dataset is available as

  • ESRI file geodatabase format
  • KML (Google Earth)
  • Geography Markup Language (gml)
  • MapInfo TAB
  • Shapefile

You must cite: Rowland, C.S.; Morton, R.D.; Carrasco, L.; McShane, G.; O'Neil, A.W.; Wood, C.M. (2017). Land Cover Map 2015 (vector, GB). NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


This dataset is part of the following


Study area
Temporal extent
2014-01-01    to    2015-12-01

Provenance & quality

For LCM2015, per-pixel classifications were conducted, using a random forest classification algorithm to classify the different land cover types. The resultant classifications were then mosaicked together, with the best classifications taking priority. This produced a per-pixel classification of the UK, which was then imported into the spatial framework, recording a number of attributes, including the majority class per polygon which is the Land Cover class for each polygon. The 25m raster classification product is the majority class per polygon i.e. the dominant class for each polygon. LCM2015 uses a spatial framework that is similar to the LCM2007 framework. For both LCM2007 and LCM2015 the framework is based on generalised OS MasterMap (R). The generalisation (or simplification) process was used to remove very small objects, which provided unnecessary detail. In LCM2007 larger polygons were split using image segmentation; however this was not done for LCM2015.

Supplemental information

This dataset is referenced in:

Smith, H.G., Karam, D.S., & Lennard, A.T. (2018). Evaluating tracer selection for catchment sediment fingerprinting. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 18(9), 3005–3019
Samuelson, A.E., & Leadbeater, E. (2018). A land classification protocol for pollinator ecology research: An urbanization case study. Ecology and Evolution, 8(11), 5598–5610
Forde, E., Gallagher, M., Foot, V., Sarda-Esteve, R., Crawford, I., Kaye, P., … Topping, D. (2018). Characterisation of biofluorescent aerosol emissions over winter and summer periods in the United Kingdom. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 1–31
Dennis, M., Barlow, D., Cavan, G., Cook, P., Gilchrist, A., Handley, J., … Lindley, S. (2018). Mapping Urban Green Infrastructure: A Novel Landscape-Based Approach to Incorporating Land Use and Land Cover in the Mapping of Human-Dominated Systems. Land, 7(1), 17
Reis, S., Liška, T., Vieno, M., Carnell, E. J., Beck, R., Clemens, T., … Heal, M. R. (2018). The influence of residential and workday population mobility on exposure to air pollution in the UK. Environment International, 121, 803–813.
Oliver, D. M., Bartie, P. J., Louise Heathwaite, A., Reaney, S. M., Parnell, J. A. Q., & Quilliam, R. S. (2018). A catchment-scale model to predict spatial and temporal burden of E. coli on pasture from grazing livestock. Science of The Total Environment, 616–617, 678–687.
Chetcuti, J., Kunin, W. E., & Bullock, J. M. (2019). A weighting method to improve habitat association analysis: tested on British carabids. Ecography.
Pearson, A. W., Soar, P. J., & Carter, P. (2019). Forgotten fields: mid-nineteenth century land use and characterisation in the South Downs National Park using the tithe surveys of England and Wales. Journal of Maps, 15(1), 58–68.
Dennis, M., Scaletta, K. L., & James, P. (2019). Evaluating environmental and ecological landscape characteristics relevant to urban resilience across gradients of land-sharing-sparing and urbanity. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Froidevaux, J. S. P., Boughey, K. L., Hawkins, C. L., Broyles, M., & Jones, G. (2019). Managing hedgerows for nocturnal wildlife: Do bats and their insect prey benefit from targeted agri‐environment schemes? Journal of Applied Ecology.
Entwistle, N. S., Heritage, G. L., Schofield, L. A., & Williamson, R. J. (2019). Recent changes to floodplain character and functionality in England. CATENA, 174, 490–498.
Froidevaux, J. S. P., Broyles, M., & Jones, G. (2019). Moth responses to sympathetic hedgerow management in temperate farmland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 270–271, 55–64.
Henrys, P.A., & Jarvis, S.G. (2019). Integration of ground survey and remote sensing derived data: Producing robust indicators of habitat extent and condition. Ecology and Evolution, 9(14), 8104–8112.

Correspondence/contact details

Rowland, C.S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg
United Kingdom


Rowland, C.S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Morton, R.D.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Carrasco, L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
McShane, G.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
O'Neil, A.W.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Wood, C.M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Environment , Imagery / Base Maps / Earth Cover
Land cover Mapping
Land Cover
Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated