1930s Land Utilisation Survey of Britain (Dudley Stamp)


The Land Utilisation Survey of Britain was carried out during the 1930s. Land use is depicted as a colour overlay on top of Ordnance Survey topographic mapping. Two scales of map are provided, 1:625,000 and 1:63,360.

What data is available?

Colour historical land use mapping overprinted on Ordnance Survey topographic base maps at two scales (1:625,000 & 1:63,360) for England, Wales and Scotland.

Where did the data come from?

The land use maps come from the Land-Utilisation Survey of Great Britain, carried out under the leadership of Professor L. Dudley Stamp during the 1930s. This was the first time that anyone in Britain had tried to determine how all the land in Britain was being used. The work was carried out largely by volunteers including schoolchildren who shaded maps of the fields in their surrounding area and people at universities who were responsible for collating these into a series of national land use maps.

How were the digital versions created?

The Environment Agency undertook to source, scan, geo-reference and disseminate a full set of the 170 published Land Use maps of Great Britain. This work was sub-contracted to the Great Britain Historical GIS team, based at the University of Portsmouth. Because the source paper maps existed in a variety of conditions and there was variation in the editions of the maps available, these sheets have been sourced from multiple different libraries and organisations. The scanning process yielded a seamless geo-referenced coverage of the maps.


Original copyright of the underlying topographic base maps lay with the Ordnance Survey. This has since expired with Copyright of the land use data belonging to Stamp. On the death of Stamp, copyright passed to his assistant, Audrey Clark.

If you incorporate the data within your own work the following acknowledgement should be cited:

© L. Dudley Stamp/Geographical Publications Ltd, Audrey N. Clark, Environment Agency/DEFRA and Great Britain Historical GIS

Further Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Great Britain Historical GIS website

Article on the Great Britain Historical GIS website regarding the project


1:625,000 1:63,360