What does the Survey do?

The Field Survey involves an in-depth study of a sample of 1km squares in the countryside. 

Ben Nevis
Bracken around Ben Nevis

Recent research outcomes from the UKCEH Countryside Survey

How have the findings been used?

The results from the UKCEH Countryside Survey have been used to:

  • improve scientific understanding of the countryside’s landscape, vegetation, freshwater and soils
  • monitor changes in the area and distribution of Broad Habitats* and some habitat types of special interest (e.g. hedgerows, arable field margins and upland heath)
  • determine how the countryside’s natural resources respond to changes in land use, climate change and government policy
  • underpin the UK Government’s reporting of biodiversity
  • assess progress against target indicators in Biodiversity Strategies for the UK and the devolved countries.

*For more information on habitat types visit:

Countryside Survey is a vital data source, particular for its use in measuring change in the quality of natural capital assets (habitats) outside of Protected Sites."  Jane Lusardi, Natural England

UKCEH Countryside Survey Team

Current project leader: vegetation. Simon is a senior research scientist and botanist at UKCEH. He has 27 years' experience in the recording, analysis, interpretation and statistical modelling of ecological change in temperate environments.
Current project leader: soils. David is a soil scientist at UKCEH with more than 15 years' experience in international soils research. His interests include land, soil and water management, soil natural capital, and ecosystem service evaluation.
Current project and survey manager. Angus is a senior ecologist at UKCEH. He is a coastal specialist and expert in saltmarsh ecology, processes and management and the ecology of intertidal mudflats.
Lisa is a land use ecologist at UKCEH. She specialises in large-scale, long-term monitoring of the countryside and has an interest on the impact of farming on biodiversity and landscape.
Lindsay is a plant ecologist at UKCEH. She analyses large-scale, long-term monitoring data to detect and understand changes in ecosystems.
Claire is a data manager and spatial analyst for the land use group at UKCEH. She also works to improve data management practices across the organisation more broadly.
Laura is a spatial and environmental scientist interested in the efficacy of land management policies for carbon sequestration and their long-term viability. She is the theme lead for the UKCEH Countryside Survey soils programme.
Peter is the statistical lead for the UKCEH Countryside Survey, as well as other projects and monitoring activities, and has great experience of analysing large scale, long term data sets.

Peter Scarlett

Freshwater ecologist

Field Team

Plant ecologist
Plant virologist
Plant ecologist

Peter Scarlett

Freshwater ecologist

Eleonora Fitos

Ecologist - quality assurance

Alice Deacon

Ecologist - quality assurance

Casual botanist/field surveyor

We often have several seasonal posts each year requiring botany/soil sampling, as part of the UKCEH Countryside Survey team. Please contact us to express an interest.

Contact us


Centralised Analytical Chemistry Group

A combination of highly qualified and experienced staff using modern computer controlled instrumentation allows us to offer a facility that can analyse large numbers of samples for a wide range of factors.

Centralised Analytical Chemistry Group Profile

Countryside Survey