By combining information on cropping patterns from CEH Land Cover®plus: Crops with national survey data on pesticide and fertiliser use, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has created two new data products: CEH Land Cover®plus Fertilisers and CEH Land Cover®plus Pesticides.

These maps estimate average fertiliser and pesticide applications over the past six years for the whole of England, and England, Wales and Scotland respectively. They offer a unique dataset of application rates at a fine resolution and national scale. These data have been developed to aid UKCEH research into the environmental impacts of agriculture and to help develop sustainable farming solutions. 

For academic research/education only, CEH Land Cover®plus Fertilisers and CEH Land Cover®plus Pesticides are available free to users of EDINA, specifically the Environment section.

CEH Land Cover®plus Fertilisers

CEH Land Cover®plus Fertilisers maps estimate average, total, annual, application of manufactured Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Technical features

  • Scale: 1km resolution
  • Units: kg of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium / 1km2
  • Supply Format: GeoTIFF
  • Coverage: England
  • Period: A snapshot of average total annual applications between 2010 and 2015
Example of 3 maps of England estimating application of 3 fertilisers


Anonymised data from the Defra and Scottish Government sponsored British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (2010-2015) was used to derive average, total, annual application of manufactured fertilisers for each crop type per survey location.

A spatial interpolation model was used to predict applications for every 1km grid cell in England.

The total application for each 1km square was then derived using crop areas from CEH Land Cover®plus: Crops (averaged 2015-2017).

Uncertainty maps are presented alongside the fertiliser application maps to quantify the level of confidence in estimated application rates.    

Potential Uses

  • Prediction of environmental impacts, such as modelling agrochemical runoff, eutrophication and soil health.
  • Planning and environmental protection, such as catchment sensitive farming and estimates of gaseous emissions.
  • Supporting the agricultural industry, providing data on patterns of crop inputs.

CEH Land Cover®plus Pesticides

CEH Land Cover®plus Pesticides combines CEH Land Cover®plus: Crop maps with Pesticide Utilisation Survey data to map average, annual pesticide applications across England, Wales and Scotland at a 1km resolution for 162 active ingredients.

Technical features

  • Scale: 1km resolution
  • Units: kg of active ingredient / 1km2/year
  • Supply Format: GeoTIFF
  • Coverage: England, Wales and Scotland
  • Period: A snapshot of average applications between 2012 and 2017
  • Ingredients: Data are available for 162 active ingredients
LC plus Pesticides demo map


County-level data from the Pesticide Usage Survey (2012-2017) was summarised as annual total applications per crop per county per year.

Average annual application rates for each active ingredient (or combination) were modelled as a function of the crop to which they are applied and their location.

Using this model, estimated application rates were produced for each 1km square in England, Wales and Scotland using information on the crops grown from CEH Land Cover® plus: Crop maps (2015-2017). Hence, pesticide application was mapped even for counties where data was missing for some years on some crops.

Uncertainty maps are presented alongside each active ingredient map to quantify the level of confidence in the estimated application rates. Temporal variation in pesticide application is reflected in the uncertainly maps.

Potential Uses

  • Detecting the impact of pesticide use on wildlife population trends.
  • Prediction of the environmental fate of active ingredients and exposure risk to key groups (e.g. pollinating insects).
  • Modelling agrochemical runoff.
  • Water quality management in support of the Water Framework Directive.
  • Targeting management interventions such as pesticide stewardship.
  • Wider monitoring of pesticide use across landscapes in support of improved regulation.


Case studies

Obtaining a licence

UKCEH’s Land Cover® plus Fertilisers and Pesticides datasets are available for free to those who license Land Cover® plus Crops data.

Please outline your licence requirements by filling in our web form. For more information, please contact the Data Licensing Team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1491 692716

Web form

Please fill in our form to request map data