Living Wales

By Bethan Lauder

Living Wales is a unique and novel world-first concept that aims to capture the state and dynamics of Wales’s landscape, in near real time, through integration of earth observation data, supportive ground measurements and process models.

Living Wales is a research project that is working with and supporting initiatives to collate, process, analyse and make publicly available the vast archive of optical and radar satellite observations over Wales (since the mid 1980s) and derived spatial outputs that directly address key issues relevant to the Welsh economy, policy, environment and populations.


The research is focused on:

  • The provision of quantitative biophysical data (e.g., on vegetation productivity, structure and carbon dynamics, hydrology and flood sequences) for assessing trends attributed to climate or other environmental changes.
  • The routine production of detailed and high-resolution land cover and habitat classifications across Wales for multiple points in time based on relevant taxonomies.
  • Identification of options for optimising land use and also conserving and restoring landscapes and ecosystems.

Sand dune restoration

Living Wales will utilise and capitalise on existing and new geographical information (e.g. on agricultural use), models (e.g. carbon, hydrology) and scientific knowledge (e.g. habitat links to biodiversity) and will additionally focus on coordinating, contributing and collating field, drone and airborne datasets acquired over Wales.

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Published: Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Image: Members of the Wales Academic Space Partnership (WASP) at the Airbus site in Broughton, Flintshire.