Land cover maps describe the physical material on the surface of the country. For example grassland, woodland, rivers & lakes or man-made structures such as roads and buildings
UKCEH Land Cover Maps are parcel-based thematic classifications of satellite image data covering the United Kingdom. They are used in a wide range of applications by government departments & agencies, county councils, charities and environmental management bodies. The versions available are:
- Land cover map 1990 (original map GB only, the revised map gives full UK coverage)
- Land cover map 2000
- Land Cover Map 2007
- Land Cover Map 2015
- Land Cover Map 2017
- Land Cover Map 2018
- Land Cover Map 2019
- Land Cover Map 2020
- Land Cover Map 2021
Each version is available in several different products which vary in their level of detail and spatial resolution.
The most recent Land Cover Maps release is Land Cover Map 2021 (LCM2021).
In 2019, LCM 1990 was revised to cover the whole of the UK (it previously covered only Great Britain) and to support comparisons with LCM 2015 and the newer products. Using the revised LCM 1990, quarter-century change datasets have been created by comparison with LCM 2015 - these are also available.
NOTE: These UKCEH products relate to Land COVER, not Land USE. Land cover describes the physical material on the surface, whereas Land Use describes how the material is used. For example, land covered by grass could be used for grazing or sporting activities, or both. Land Cover is directly detectable from satellites, Land Use is not.