The UKCEH Land Cover Maps describe the physical material on the surface of the United Kingdom providing an uninterrupted national dataset of land cover classes from grassland, woodland and rivers to artificial materials such as urban and suburban built-up areas.

UKCEH has a long history of using satellite imagery to produce land cover maps from the first national Land Cover Map of Great Britain in 1990 to the current production of annual land cover maps which are capable of use for change detection.

Our Land Cover Maps are a trusted source of information on land cover for the whole of the United Kingdom and have been used for the management of natural resources, urban planning, carbon accounting and flood risk modelling, to name but a few. UKCEH’s Land Cover Maps have been successfully used in a wide range of applications by government departments and agencies, county councils, charities and utility companies.

Land Cover Map products

Main users

Our Land Cover Maps are successfully used by government departments and agencies throughout the UK, county councils, charities, commissions and environmental management bodies. They have a wide range of applications in pursuit of academic, policy-related and commercial interests in the following areas:

Atmosphere and climate Agriculture and forestry
Water and catchments Landscape planning
Ecosystem service assessment Telecommunications
Marine and coastal Urban studies
Ecology and conservation Statistics, information and maps
Impact assessment Education and publicity
Health and hazards Carbon accounting

Obtaining UKCEH's Land Cover Maps

Academic research and education

All of UKCEH’s Land Cover Maps are available for free to users of the EDINA Environment Digimap service which includes staff and students at more than 100 UK further and higher education establishments.

Non-commercial use of raster data

All of UKCEH’s raster Land Cover Maps (all 20m, 25m and 1km raster datasets) are available to download and use for free for non-commercial organisations and their contractors from the UKCEH Environmental Information Platform:

Non-commercial use of vector data

Non-commercial organisations and their contractors can access all vector Land Cover Maps from UKCEH under licence. While data fees will not be charged, administration fees (total of £300 plus VAT) will apply. A condition of the licence is that detailed information on how the data are used is provided, in order for UKCEH to improve our product development and stakeholder engagements. Understanding how and where our data are being used is very important to UKCEH. Please make a request using this licence application form (Word).

Commercial internal business use

All of UKCEH’s Land Cover Maps are available for commercial internal business use under licence and subject to payment of a licence fee. Please make a request via our web form, email Spatial Data or or telephone +44 (0)1491 692716 for more information.

Innovation use and value-added reselling

UKCEH encourages use of its intellectual property in value added products and services. Our intellectual property can be made available without charge for Innovation Use in order to allow feasibility studies and the development of products and services prior to arranging a bespoke value added reseller agreement. Please make a request via our web form, email Spatial Data or telephone +44 (0)1491 692716 for more information.

Web mapping service

UKCEH provides a Web Mapping Service for all Land Cover Map 25m and 1km raster data. Using our map viewer, high-resolution data for the whole of Great Britain can be seen, but not downloaded. Images of Land Cover Map data can be captured but, if these are published, they must be acknowledged appropriately.

Web form

Please fill in our Data Request Form to request map data for commercial internal business use, innovation use or value added reselling.


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