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Working Wetlands - Wolf Catchment project

Devon Wildlife Trust/Environment Agency

Our clients project objective is to better understand the relationship between land-use, ‘natural wettedness’ and river base flows in the Culm Measures Natural Character Area. 

DBRC have been engaged to:
  • Digitise aerial photography images and interpret and categorise land uses within the project area using the IHS classification system for each of the following years: 1947, 1998, 2003.
  • Digitise aerial photography images and interpret and categorise land uses from 2006/7 images for the western part of the catchment (which is not covered by the Parish biodiversity survey information) using the IHS classification system – this area is approximately 5 square km.
  • Digitise 1984 Phase 1 survey data and categorise land uses using the IHS system for the entire catchment.
  • Analyse the resulting data with data from the Parish biodiversity audit to provide total figures for areas of land within each classification category for each of the image sets interpreted.
  • Provide additional support and capacity during the Project for interpretation, development and presentation of the data.

Once DBRC land use analysis is completed, the client’s project team will identify changes in historic river flows from data provided by the Environment Agency. When analysed and compared, both evidence bases will be used to confirm land use change and it's affect on hydrology between 1947 and the present day, guiding and informing habitat restoration efforts.

Strategically, the DBRC analysis & mapping allows for trial sites to be identified.  The client will then plan and implement land management changes which will include various wetland habitat restoration techniques. The impacts of this restoration on the hydrology and habitats will be studied in detail. In the longer term it is hoped that scaling up the results from field trials through computer modelling will inform future landscape scale restoration projects.Wolf_catchment_project

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