General Land Use
The dominant land use in Staffordshire is agriculture occupying 81% of the county. While Urban land, mainly the conurbation of Stoke-on-Trent, accounts for 11% of the total area. The remaining 8% comprises heathland, woodland, forest, reservoirs, mineral workings and amenity land such as golf courses.
Permanent pasture is the dominant agricultural land use, accounting for 47% of the total, and dairy farming is the main enterprise on 55% of all full-time farms. Arable crops account for 31% of the total, and this is the dominant land use in South Staffordshire and Lichfield Districts.
Most agricultural land in the BAP area is described by DEFRA as being Grade 3 (average quality), with small amounts of Grade 2 land (very good quality) in the south and west.
Significant amounts of Grade 4 (poor quality) and Grade 5 (very poor quality) land are also present. This is concentrated in the north-east of the SBAP area, in Staffordshire Moorlands District and the northern part of East Staffordshire District. This land has severe limitations, restricting the range of crops that can be grown.
Most of the area between Stoke-on-Trent and the Peak Park is designated as a Less Favoured Area by DEFRA. The South-west Peak Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) also extends beyond the Peak Park boundary and covers a small part of the BAP area.
Staffordshire is divided into nine districts, eight of which are administered by district or borough authorities and one, Stoke-on-Trent, which is a unitary city council. These districts cross many natural boundaries and are not ecological units.
However, as local authorities will implement many of the recommendations in this report, much information is presented on a district-by-district basis.
For more information on what habitats are found in Staffordshire and how they are protected please use the following links: