A NEW report has shown just how little land in the area has been built upon.

A report - published by the BBC - shows the levels of built up areas, farmland, parkland and ‘natural’ land.

Around six per cent of North Ayrshire is built on - matching that of the overall UK figure.

It is also far higher than the 2.1 percent of Scotland which is built on, and closer to the 8.8 per cent in England.

North Ayrshire also has a higher proportion of farmland than Scotland as a whole (32 percent compared to 26.4 per cent).

This does fall significantly short of the UK figure of 57 per cent and the 72 per cent coverage in England, however.

When it comes to distribution of farmland in North Ayrshire, there is a clear division, the north of the authority has relatively little agricultural land, in part due to Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park which covers a large proportion of the northern moorlands from Largs across to Lochwinnoch.

The inclusion of the Isle of Arran also skews the figures, given the vast majority of its land is considered ‘natural’, resulting in 60 per cent of North Ayrshire deemed to be undeveloped.

While this is higher than our neighbouring authorities to the south, Inverclyde (57 per cent natural) is similar in topography.

It is still lower than the proportion of natural land in Scotland (70 per cent) which is largely due to the undeveloped wilds of the Highlands and Islands.

Compare this to the far more densely developed England, which has just 14.5 percent natural cover.

At three percent North Ayrshire’s green urban space like parks, sports facilities and golf courses matches the UK’s figure.

This is higher than Scotland as a whole, which has just under one percent used in this way.

Scotland has significantly more natural land than the other home nations - largely due to the proliferation of land unsuitable for agriculture throughout the highlands and islands.

Neighbouring South Ayrshire has half the area of land built upon in North Ayrshire.

It also has a lower percentage of park and leisure land. However, as one of the most agricultural areas in Scotland it does have a greater proportion of farmland (44 per cent) and less undeveloped natural land.

The four categories are derived from a more detailed report across 44 different land use ‘codes’.

The local authorities with the highest proportion of farmland are the Isles of Scilly (96 per cent) and Mid Suffolk (95per cent ).

The council area with the greatest quantity of “natural” landscape is Highland (91 per cent).

The City of London has the highest amount of land that is built on (98 pe rcent) and the local authority with the greatest proportion of green urban is Richmond upon Thames (58 per cent).

The data was produced by the BBC with the help of Dr Alasdair Rae from the University of Sheffield.