Countryside Survey - measuring change in our countryside

 What is Countryside Survey?

Countryside Survey is a unique study or ‘audit’ of the natural resources of the UK’s countryside. The Survey has been carried out at discrete intervals since 1978. The countryside is sampled and studied using rigorous scientific methods, allowing us to compare results with those from previous surveys. In this way we can record the quantity and quality of change in our landscapes and detect even the most gradual and subtle changes that occur in the UK’s countryside over time.

Welcome to Countryside Survey

The latest in this UK-wide series of Surveys took place in 2007 and the results and analyses are available.  Future surveys are planned.

When is the next survey?

Countryside Survey is currently supported by CEH as a relatively small scale ongoing project to exploit the survey data for scientific use and in collaboration with wider funders for policy and business uses. Funding for new periodic surveys is dependent on joint initiatives between governments of GB/UK countries and NERC and not tied to any given periodicity or specific approach. Planning and negotiations are currently underway for the next survey.


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) occupies a series of islands off the north west coast of Europe.  The country is increasingly densely populated and has provided sustenance and support for people across millennia.  The environment has evolved and continues to evolve, responding to pressures that are both natural and man-made. To live sustainably, so future generations can enjoy the services and benefits we do, means we have to understand the consequences of our use of the land. Monitoring the state of the environment is essential as you cannot manage what you cannot measure.  Monitoring in UK arguably started in 1086 with the Domesday Book, but continues now with regular surveys.  


                          UK land cover as shown by LCM2007                        
                          The most recent land cover map of UK

This website provides information on the 2007 Survey for the public, students, scientific researchers and policymakers. It also provides access to the findings, reports, data and analyses from the earlier Surveys.

Countryside Survey is a world leading study of change in the countryside