Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working

Daily Mail Hilarity

From The Daily Mail:

It’s said Britain is a green and pleasant land – and there’s now a map that proves it. The ‘land cover map’, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, shows that urban sprawl accounts for just six per cent of the country’s landscape. The map shows that a quarter of all land is comprised mainly of arable and horticultural areas…

‘Improved grassland’, which is managed for pasture, silage or recreation, makes up another 25 per cent of the country, while mountains, heaths and bogs account for 16 per cent of the land mass. ‘Semi-natural grasslands’ are found across 13 per cent of Britain while urban areas, coniferous woodland and broadleaf woods each make up six per cent of the total. The remaining three per cent of the land is made up of coastal and freshwater habitats.

They have re-written these opening paragraphs slightly since the article first appeared, which luckily I had cut and pasted over at HPC:

Forget the urban sprawl – a new map of Britain has shown that we are dominated by countryside. The land cover map showed half [53%] the land was used for crops or pasture and just 6 per cent for more built up areas…. Mountains, heaths and bogs account for 16 per cent, ‘semi-natural grasslands’ are found across 13 per cent of the country while urban areas, coniferous woodland and broad-leaf woods each make up 6 per cent.

None of this is news to anybody outside the Daily Mailexpressgraph’s fantasy world of course – the fun bit is the fact that the original headline was “A green and pleasant land: Map reveals more than half of Britain is countryside”.

Although quite misleading, this was still too much for the editorial committee, who replaced this with the entirely inaccurate “New digital map of Britain’s countryside reveals how more than half the country has been concreted over” a couple of hours later (I shit ye not).

Some to-ing and fro-ing must have followed while the editorial committee processed the fact that they had spent the last few decades lying to their readers, and the headline was then replaced with the a simple statement of fact: “Our green and pleasant land: New satellite map reveals just 6% of our island is built up”.

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