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.

View the history of Countryside Survey


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

  • When is the next survey?

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. 

Latest News: Soils and vegetation data are to be recorded from summer 2019 (up to 2023), in a 5 year rolling programme, from a set of Countryside Survey sites as part of the Natural Environmental Research Council funded UK-SCAPE programme.  Find out more about UK-SCAPE here or email  

                                                UK land cover as shown by LCM2015                        


This website provides the latest information on the Countryside 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