COBWEB recently attended the launch of the UK’s latest land-cover product; The 2012 UK 'Coordination of Information on the Environment' (CORINE) Land Cover map. The event focused on the findings from this new data product, and was also an opportunity for the Earth observation community to convene and discuss other development in the field.
The CORINE land cover map has been derived from satellite images from 2012, which have been classified based upon a standardised classification system of 44 land cover and land use classes that shows how much of the UK is made up of artificial surfaces, agricultural areas, forest and semi-natural areas, wetlands and water bodies. This map has then been compared with a 2006 version to identify significant changes in the environment.
Some of the key findings include:
- An area of 225,200 hectares (over 2,250 km2) of the UK showed a change in land cover / use from 2006 to 2012
- Over 100,000 hectares of coniferous forest lost to clear-cutting, represents dominant change
- Over 7,000 hectares were converted from forest to artificial surfaces, and over 14,000 hectares changed from agricultural areas to artificial surfaces
More information about the data and the results can be found here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2015/june/state-of-our-countryside-land-use-map-of-the-united-kingdom-reveals-large-scale-changes-in-environment.
Other presentations on the day included an overview of Europe’s State of the Environment reporting by EEA’s Ronan Uhel which highlighted the importance of coordinated land management and an ecosystem or holistic approach to natural resource management in general. Jo Muse, a Principal Policy Officer from SEPA (Scotland Environment Protection Agency), presented Scotland's Environment Web (see: http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/) a gateway for environmental data in Scotland that allows users to view, interact with and download the data.
Discussions surrounding citizen science were very positive and focused on its potential and importance. From the discussion, it is evident that COBWEB is addressing the questions and concerns that surround the use of citizen science in the field of Earth observation.