Using drones for the Shipley Canal Road Corridor pilot in Bradford Council

13 September 2018 - Published by Ellen Kelder

As part of the BEGIN project, Bradford Council is running a pilot in the Shipley Canal Road Corridor area. Bradford is looking at different key aspects is this area related to blue green infrastructure and social innovation:

  • Enhancing biodiversity and ecological networks of the Bradford Beck
  • Managing and reducing flood risk
  • Engaging new and existing communities by providing a high-quality setting for recreation
  • Mitigating the impact of climate change along the Canal Road CorridorDrones on demand

To capture the scope and potential of the pilot area, an aerial survey has recently been carried out working together with the NESTA initiative ‘Flying High Challenge’ and Drones on Demand. This survey will be invaluable in identifying potential blue-green developments, providing base line information for the BEGIN project and in promoting the area with developers and local communities allowing them to better visualise the area and its wider context.

For the survey Bradford Council made use of drones (unmanned aerial systems) to cover the total length of 5.5 km. Drones are a cost-effective way to capture a wide range of information using static and video photography. By utilising as well geo referencing and different electromagnetic wavelengths, the images can be analysed together with other maps and datasets to identify different land uses and vegetation types.

Tree canopy mapping Bradford

Furthermore, digital terrain models (DTMs) can be created to provide three-dimensional topography for use cases related to the pilot like:


  • Flood risk assessments by modelling surface water flow
  • Erosion and subsidence assessments
  • Production of virtual 3D city models
  • Volume calculations for landfill and quarrying


Watch the video on the BEGIN YouTube channel or below.