The dataset is the lake polygons from the UK Lakes Portal (, originally based on OS PANORAMA but this dataset includes data from a number of sources. It has a basic set of attributes including the water body ID (WBID) as well as the computed area and perimeter of each lake. The WBID is commonly used across research institutions and is the same ID as used on the UK Lakes Portal, where more information can be found on each lake in this dataset. This is v3.6, which follows the same versioning as the underlying database. Although the database has seen the majority of the changes since version 1, the polygons have also been changed and improved over that time, mostly fixing issues with lake outlines, but also some new sites being added.

Publication date: 2021-11-23

Get the data

This dataset is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Geopackage

You must cite: Taylor, P.J. (2021). Spatial inventory of UK waterbodies. NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre.


Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright

© UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Study area

Provenance & quality

The development of the database was jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales (now Natural Resources Wales), and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER).

Lake polygon geometry in Northern Ireland is based upon Crown Copyright and is reproduced with the permission of Land & Property Services under delegated authority from the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Crown copyright and database rights, EMOU206.2. Northern Ireland Environment Agency Copyright 2015.

Lake polygon geometry in Great Britain is mostly based on Ordnance Survey data and contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

This is version 3.6 of the dataset, with the versioning being aligned with the ongoing development of the underlying UK lakes database:

This is the first published version in a datacentre, with all changes to polygon outlines from version 1 being represented here.

Supplemental information

The UK Lakes Portal uses the same underlying spatial data with additional data for each lake as well as information relating to the lake catchment (for most lakes >1ha) and linked external data (water quality, biology, hyrdology etc) where available. The site uses the same identifier (WBID) as this dataset.

Correspondence/contact details

Taylor, P.J.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB


Taylor, P.J.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Rights Holder
Ordnance Survey

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Environment , Geoscientific Information , Inland Waters
freshwater,  Hydrology lake polygons,  Lakes,  Land cover llyn,  loch,  lough,  Mapping standing waters,  waterbodies
Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
18 May 2022 12:21