How to use MAGIC2 min read

Natural England manage the MAGIC website under the direction of a steering group. It provides geographic information about the natural environment from across government. The information covers rural, urban, coastal and marine environments across Great Britain. It is presented in an interactive map which can be explored using the various mapping tools that are included.

Do you want to know about the location of sites of special scientific interest, the distance between two places on a road or footpath, registered common land boundaries or to measure the area of a plot of land – we could go on? But the answer is almost certainly to be found in MAGIC. We don’t know what MAGIC stands for, but it tries hard to live up to its name. The availability of data is best in England, but some resources cover Great Britain.

To find out more about MAGIC, visit the home page. To see an example, here’s Grey’s Green near our office location in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, showing Grey’s Green and Shepherd’s Green, two areas of registered common land (shown in green stipple), most of which is subject to a scheme for regulation and management of the commons made under Part I of the Commons Act 1899 (purple hatch, which obscures the green stipple). Try clicking on the ‘identify’ or ‘information’ tool on the toolbar just above the map, then click on any part of the common: a pop-up box will open, to tell you that the land is registered common land, register unit CL19, subject to the scheme for regulation and management, and that the land is in Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire district, and Rotherfield Greys parish. Now that’s what we call magic!

Just a word of warning. Town or village greens are available (under the heading ‘Access’), but only as approximate point locations shown by green circles. They are not entirely accurately placed, and the green circles will disappear at a scale greater than 1:30,000 (i.e. they will disappear at 1:29,000), to avoid giving the misleading impression of a precise location. Neither the greens nor the commons data have been updated for many years, but in practice, there have been few changes. But don’t expect to see on MAGIC new town or village greens registered since the 1990s.

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