2012: Land cover in UK

Landcover change analysis (Kent, UK)

The land cover analysis is another way of classifying the land surface of Kent. It is derived from the Kent Habitat Survey data and takes a broad look at the nature of the land surface and land management practices. The dataset is made up of a coarse grid of 100x100m cells, where the centre point of each cell reflects the habitat. A much simplified classification distinguishes 11 land cover categories, further grouped into 6 broad categories. This grid data format allows direct comparison with older land cover data using similar classifications.

Change analysis covers the years 1961, 1990, 1999 and the current dataset of 2008. Dates refer to the date of the source aerial photography. The Land Cover Change report presents maps, tables and graphs for each category with overall information for Districts and the Medway Unitary Authority.

Key findings of the Land Cover Analysis
• The extent of land devoted to arable and grassland has declined very little, covering 60.4% of the county in 2008, a decline of slightly less than 2% since 1990, and a gain of 1% from 1961
• Orchards and hops have suffered the most dramatic decline, with more than two thirds of the county’s resource in 1961 being lost by 2008
• Land covered by development has increased from 10.7% in 1961 and 14.4% in 1990 to 17.3% in 2008, an increase of around 62% of the original resource

Project report