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The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is a public-sector research centre – part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) – which delivers independent research, survey, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences to advance knowledge of planet Earth as a complex, interacting system.

We conduct independent research in support of NERC’s strategic goals and work in close partnership with the scientific community, government departments and agencies, and the private sector. We are a major custodian of environmental data, collected from long-term monitoring and experimental field sites. We also develop spatial datasets to meet scientific and customer needs.


CEH has developed national hydrology and land cover spatial datasets, which have been used by our customers in the government, environmental, water, consultancy, insurance and property search markets.

CEH’s latest UK product is Land Cover Map 2007 (LCM2007).  It was derived from satellite images and real-world objects, such as fields, roads, lakes and settlements, from the Ordnance Survey MasterMap Topography Layer and OSNI large-scale vector. Basing land cover on digital cartography improves spatial and thematic accuracy, interoperability and the ability to monitor future changes in land cover.