The UK results from Countryside Survey in 2007 were published on November 18th during a high profile launch event at the Royal Horticultural Society, London. The event was chaired by Edmund Wallis, Chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and featured an opening address by Environment Minister Hilary Benn, who stressed the importance of Countryside Survey in underpinning Government policy:
“The countryside lies at the heart of our prosperity, health and well-being, " he said. "We must ensure that the landscapes, wildlife and ecosystems that provide us with the essentials of life are not only looked after but are improved for future generations. The health of the countryside is increasingly affected by climate change, pollution and the demand for land, so it is vital that we improve our understanding of their impact. The UK Countryside Survey provides that understanding [and] the hard scientific evidence that we need”.
Professor Alan Thorpe, Chief Executive of NERC, also emphasised the importance of the Survey, stating that: ”The changing ecology of the UK countryside is of growing scientific and political importance…Countryside Survey has provided us with a remarkably detailed 30-year record of where environmental changes have occurred. This is vital scientific evidence for policymakers and all those with interests in sustainable land management.”
The morning session of the event featured summary presentations from Dr Peter Carey (CEH), lead author of the UK report, and Dr Peter Costigan (Defra), Chair of the Countryside Survey Steering Group. The lunchtime session featured demonstrations of key components of the Survey. This was followed by two parallel sessions in the afternoon: one detailing the data products and upcoming Land Cover Map (chaired by Professor Mark Bailey of CEH), the other exploring future outputs and scientific applications (chaired by Dr Terry Parr of CEH).
The UK results from Countryside Survey in 2007 are now available from this website – visit the 2007 Reports page to download a copy of the report in electronic format.