Who owns land is one of England's most closely-guarded secrets. This map is a first attempt to display major landowners in England, combining public data with Freedom of Information requests. To follow the investigation and help us fill in the gaps, visit the Who Owns England? blog.
The map also displays some data for Wales and Scotland, where landowners' data includes this; our project is focused on England. Investigation by Guy Shrubsole, map by Anna Powell-Smith.
Data sources and attribution:
- Anglian Water: GIS data supplied following Environmental Information Request, August 2016. Released with licensing stipulation that “You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing, and for the purposes of news reporting.” It is reproduced here for the purposes of news reporting. Also see blog post. No other water companies have yet released GIS maps of their landholdings.
- Crown Estate: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information request. If the Crown Estate contacts us asking for this layer to be taken down, we will do so. An indicative map of land and property owned by the Crown Estate is already public.
- Forestry Commission: Covers both freehold and leasehold land. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. See the data download and blog post.
- Highways England: Land that Highways England manages as highway. Data released under the UK Open Government Licence. Contains Highways England and OS data © Crown copyright 2016. See the data download.
- Ministry of Defence: GIS data extracted from a PDF map released by the Ministry of Defence following a Freedom of Information request. No licensing conditions were provided with the released document. See the blog post.
- National Trust: GIS data supplied by the National Trust, also published on the NT’s own more detailed Land Map. If the National Trust contacts us asking for this layer to be taken down, we will do so.
- Network Rail: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information request, June 2016. No licensing conditions were provided with the released document.
- Other Government departments: GIS data extracted from online map that until recently accompanied the Cabinet Office’s ePIMS Government Property Finder. Non-GIS data on Government Property is published under the Open Government Licence. See also past blog posts.
- Overseas companies: Data released by the Land Registry following Freedom of Information requests by Private Eye. Shows freehold titles registered in name of an overseas company between 2005 and 2014. See the Eye's investigation and map. Reproduced with permission of the investigative journalist who obtained this information. © Crown copyright Ordnance Survey.
- RSPB: GIS data published by RSPB and see the blog post. Data reproduced with the permission of RSPB. © Crown Copyright. Ordnance Survey licence number 100021787 2017.
- Section 31 declarations: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information requests 2017-2018; no licensing conditions were provided with the released documents. Some data also acquired by scraping; we will take down the data if councils request we do so.
Polygons may have been simplified, data may be out of date; don't rely on this data. Thanks to Mapbox for their generous support of our work.