Barton Bendish



This validation site is located at and around Barton Bendish farms, near Swaffham in Norfolk. The area is situated at an altitude of 50m. The site coordinates are: 52º 36'N, 00º 32'E.


Barton Bendish is an area of intense agriculture. The agricultural land uses include cereals, arable, legumes, soft fruits and flowers, permanent grassland, pasture and commercial forestry. The site is particularly suitable for EO studies due to its flat topography; it has also the advantage of being heterogeneous at moderate resolutions with a limited number of land cover types contained within well-defined parcels (fields). The site is situated very close to an operational airfield, RAF Marham, the reconnaissance base for the RAF.

Figure 1.
Landsat ETM image of Barton Bendish (© NASA, 1999).

Projects: Overview

The Barton Bendish field site has been extensively used for preparatory and validation campaigns for optical EO sensors by researchers at UCL and Swansea University. The main research has focused on the development and testing of algorithms for global monitoring aimed at global and regional shortwave energy budget studies. The instruments used to collect data during a typical field season include:

ASD FieldSpec Pro: to collect spectral profiles of vegetation over the visible to short-wave infrared wavelengths.
CIMEL Electronique 318-2 Sun Photometer: to measure incoming solar energy and aerosol optical properties.
LiCor LAI 2000: to measure leaf area index, foliage area index, mean tilt angle and limited information on canopy structure.
Kipp and Zonen CNR-1 Net Radiometer: to measure albedo.
Ashtech Z-12 GPS: to provide precise survey and navigation data.

None of these is permanently deployed at the site.

From 1999 the site has been declared one of the NASA EOS Land Validation Core Sites and in particular one of the MODIS Land Team Core Site. The project is primarily focussing on land product validation over a range of different terrestrial biomes and it intends to provide sites where scientists can have an easy access to instruments and the possibility of sharing data with the wider scientific community. For example, the range of data available for Barton Bendish include data from satellites such as MODIS, Aster, AVHRR NDVI subsets, ETM+/TM, Landsat 5, IKONOS, MISR and SPOT.

Barton Bendish is also one of CHRIS PROBA test sites. Data collected by CIMEL Sun Photometer provide valuable information on the atmospheric conditions at the time of image aquisition that are then used for estimating surface biosphysical properties from CHRIS data. CHRIS images are also used for developing and testing high resolution mapping of biophysical parameters using spectral BRDF for vegetation monitoring.

Figure 2.
PROBA-CHRIS image of Barton Bendish, 2003. Data have been provided by the European Space Agency, using the ESA PROBA platform and the SIRA Technology Ltd CHRIS instrument, developed with support from BNSC. © Sira Technology / ESA 2003.


Key contacts for the Barton Bendish site

Professor Mike Barnsley
Head of the Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation Group,
Department of Geography
University of Wales Swansea
Tel. 01792 295228

Some publications based on research at Barton Bendish

Disney, M. I., Lewis, P., Thackrah, G., Quaife, T., Barnsley, M. J. 2004. Comparison of MODIS broadband albedo with values derived from other EO data at a range of scales and ground measurements, over an agricultural site. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25(23), 5297-5317

M. Disney, P. Lewis , R. Knott, P. Hobson, K. Evans-Jones and M. Barnsley, 1998. Validation of a manual measurement method for deriving 3D canopystructure using the BPMS, Proc. IGARSS '98, Jul. 6th-10th, Seattle, USA.


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© NCAVEO, 2005
Network for Calibration and Validation of Earth Observation data
School of Geography, University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Last updated on 15/02/2006