University of Leicester
land-11-00192 (1).pdf (6.26 MB)
Download file

Dynamic Landscapes in the UK Driven by Pressures from Energy Production and Forestry—Results of the CORINE Land Cover Map 2018

Download (6.26 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-17, 10:17 authored by Beth Cole, Geoff Smith, Bestabé de la Barreda-Bautista, Alexandra Hamer, Matthew Payne, Thomas Codd, Sarah CM Johnson, Lok Yung Chan, Heiko Balzter
The CORINE Land Cover (CLC) map was established in 1985 and is now one of the most widely used products from the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. As the world’s longest consistent operational land cover monitoring product, CLC maps have been produced for reference years 1990, 2000, 2006, 2012 and now for 2018. This paper presents the results from the CLC2018 mapping project in the UK and analyses the results of the land cover status layer and the change layer from the period 2012–2018. It sets this change in context with the change results from the period 2006–2012 and finds that the rate of change between the subsequent CORINE land cover maps is continuing to increase. Changes mapped for the period 2012–2018 covered 76,032 ha greater than the change mapped between 2006 and 2012, an increase of 26% of mapped change. The area of changes mapped covered an area equivalent to 1.16% of the total land area of the UK. The number of different types of changes also continue to diversify; however, the dominance of rotational forestry is consistent with the previous map. The process of urban land take has been highlighted in the results between 2012 and 2018 and is a trend identified in previous iterations of the CLC inventories. The largest gain is in industrial or commercial units (an increase of 14.4%). This growth is mainly attributed to renewable energy infrastructure. As well as the descriptive analysis, the results have been analysed to identify the likely pressures being experienced on the land in the UK. Although the CLC mapping approach is consistent, there have been improvements to the input EO data used to map the changes. For 2018, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 system offered a consistent and reliable image source for the first time. This increased the spatial resolution of the source datasets to 10 m, allowing for more accurate identification of small features and those with fine spatial textures such as suburban, road networks and windfarms. We also look forward to the development of CLC+, the new generation of CORINE land mapping, and the improvements it could make.


Supported by the European Environment Agency under Framework service contract No EEA/IDM/R0/16/009/United Kingdom with funding by the European Commission. IMAGE 2012 and IMAGE2018 data were provided by the Copernicus land monitoring service with financial support from the European Space Agency and the European Commission. H.B. was supported by the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation. The APC was funded by Leicester Research Archive.



Cole, B.; Smith, G.; de la Barreda-Bautista, B.; Hamer, A.; Payne, M.; Codd, T.; Johnson, S.C.M.; Chan, L.Y.; Balzter, H. Dynamic Landscapes in the UK Driven by Pressures from Energy Production and Forestry—Results of the CORINE Land Cover Map 2018. Land 2022, 11, 192.

Author affiliation

Centre for Landscape and Climate Research


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in












Acceptance date


Copyright date


Available date




Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications