Bunce, R.G.H.; Wood, C.M.; Henrys, P.A.; Smart, S.M.; Howard, D.C.; Barr, C.J.

Countryside Survey 1978 estimates of Broad Habitat areas in Great Britain

Countryside Survey is 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. 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. This dataset consists of stock data for habitats across Great Britain in 1978. The data are national estimates generated by analysing the sample data from 256 1km squares and scaling up to a national level. The data are summarized as habitat area per Land Class. The sample sites are chosen from a stratified random sample, based on a 15 by 15 km grid of GB. 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, species plot, soil plot, linear habitat, freshwater habitat and satellite map data are also produced by Countryside Survey.

Publication date: 2012-04-18

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Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Bunce, R.G.H.; Wood, C.M.; Henrys, P.A.; Smart, S.M.; Howard, D.C.; Barr, C.J. (2012). Countryside Survey 1978 estimates of Broad Habitat areas in Great Britain. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/c8feabac-7c3f-4c35-91f7-296782b957d1


This dataset is part of the following


Study area
Temporal extent
1977-05-01    to    1979-02-28

Supplemental information

This dataset is referenced in:

Wood, C.M., & Bunce, R.G.H. (2016). Survey of the terrestrial habitats and vegetation of Shetland, 1974 - a framework for long-term ecological monitoring. Earth System Science Data, 8(1), 89-103

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

Wood, C.M., Bunce, R.G.H., Norton, L.R., Maskell, L.C., Smart, S.M., Scott, W.A., … Watkins, J.W. (2018). Ecological landscape elements: long-term monitoring in Great Britain, the Countryside Survey 1978-2007 and beyond. Earth System Science Data, 10(2), 745-763
Wood, C.M.; Howard, D.C.; Henrys, P.A.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Smart, S.M.. 2012 Countryside Survey: measuring habitat change over 30 years: 1978 data rescue - final report. Lancaster, NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 18pp. (CEH Project Number: C03689)

Provenance & quality

The data were recorded onto paper field sheets in the summers of 1977 and 1978 by surveyors. Data were recorded from 256 1km squares sited across Britain, selected by random stratified sample. The areas of UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) Broad Habitats were digitized in 2009. The digitized data were used to generate national estimates of the stock of Broad Habitats for Great Britain using the standard Countryside Survey methodology (refer to the online documentation). Estimates are presented by ITE Land Class (1990 version). Also see: Countryside Survey: Measuring Habitat Change Over 30 Years. 1978 Data Rescue - Final Report (2012) Wood C.M., Howard D.C., Henrys P.A., Bunce R.G.H., Smart S.M.

Correspondence/contact details

Claire Wood
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg
United Kingdom


Bunce, R.G.H.
Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
Wood, C.M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Henrys, P.A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Smart, S.M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Howard, D.C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Barr, C.J.
Institute of Terrestrial Ecology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
CEH Biodiversity Programme,  CEH Project NEC03689,  Environmental survey Great Britain
Habitats and Biotopes