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UK’s greatest countryside survey is underway

by 5m Editor
28 May 2007, at 4:33am

UK - The biggest and most comprehensive survey of the natural resources of the British countryside has started.

The Countryside Survey is being carried out by a sixty-man team of specially trained scientists working for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. They will survey over 600 square kilometres of the English, Welsh and Scottish countryside. They will collect information on soils, small rivers and ponds, plant communities and habitats on farms, woods, heathland and moors. A complementary survey in Norther Ireland is being carried out at the same time.

The Survey will provide a unique audit of UK environmental assets, generating an overall picture of the current status and trends. It can identify possible drivers of change, and provides evidence to inform policy-makers. This is especially important given the major challenges the countryside faces: climate change, pollution, non-native species and the introduction of new crops including biofuels.

The first results and analyses will be available in autumn 2008.

Funding for the fifth Countryside Survey totals around £8m. The funding partnership includes Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural England, Scottish Executive, Environment and Heritage Service (Northern Ireland), the National Assembly for Wales, Countryside Council for Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission.

5m Editor