I would like to find a vector polygon dataset that shows field boundaries, along with tracks, roads, paths etc, for a small area of south west England - about 5km by 5km.

Are there any free datasets available?

The OpenStreetMap data is from the 1940s and out of date.

  • Nowadays I think this question would be more on-topic at the Open Data Stack Exchange.
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 6, 2017 at 12:38

4 Answers 4


via the MAGIC Interactive Map (very 1990's..)

enter image description here

http://magic.defra.gov.uk/website/magic/ county search 'Devon' Zoom in...

However this is from the Ordnance Survey RASTER product '10K Raster'

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/10k-raster/index.html There is no FREE at this type of scale:

The nearest free option is going to be OS VectorMap™ District https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendatadownload/products.html BUT NO FIELD BOUNDARIES

all other options (apart from osm you have already explored) are going to cost money.

Product info 10km x 10km http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/os-vectormap-district/index.html But they do not give you field boundaries.

The best dataset is Ordnance Survey Master Map but this will cost many £10,000's

Natural England use 1:25,000 rasters and mastermap - but they have issues with the two datasets - it is explained here http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/lake%20district%20extension%20appendices1-7_tcm6-10038.pdf (last 2 pages are relevant)


You may want to look into Natural England. It looks like they have country-wide coverage of various natural resource data including agricultural land. They may also be aware of other sources of GIS data for your area of interest.

Also, for things like roads/paths, if you have good base imagery, you can actually digitize those features yourself pretty quickly if the area is only 5x5 km. Something to think about at least.

  • Thanks. I had a look through the datasets from NaturalEngland before posting this - none seem to quite fit the bill, as the area I'm interested in isn't that interesting - i.e. it's not a SSSI or Important Bird area.
    – stuckGIS
    Jun 25, 2012 at 16:48
  • In that case, you may want to contact them directly and see what they know. In my experience, many organizations have more data than they make public, and they often know others who can provide additional data too. Good luck!
    – Baltok
    Jun 25, 2012 at 16:50
  • Did you look at the Natural England Environmental Stewardship Layer and the other agri-environment scheme layers? The coverage will be incomplete. Jun 25, 2012 at 16:52

Your area of interest is quite small so it might be worth considering tracing your shapes from Google Earth. GE is very accurate here in England, good to a metre or so and it's the best large scale mapping available to mere mortals like us. GE KML files will import to software like QGIS for onward transformation to OSGB.

I traced some fields in Google Earth as part of an exercise, see:


Just to provide some idea of what can be done.



For those who are looking for just field boundaries, Land cover maps are a good / free option. They are available from Edina Digiamp but also CEH (https://www.ceh.ac.uk/data/ukceh-land-cover-maps). You could supplement these data with OSM paths, roads and tracks etc.

Landcover map with no fill against LiDAR DTM

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