Habitat survey and monitoring

Habitat surveys involve the production of a list of plant species identified within a site. This includes broad-leaved plants, as well as grasses, sedges, rushes and ferns. Depending on the habitat, this might also involve recording bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). The relative abundance of each species is also recorded, as well as general notes about the habitat, such as management and condition. Using this information, broad habitats can be assigned, usually during the survey, and a habitat map produced. This can provide local and national context to the site, in terms of its importance. This is an initial, or Phase 1 survey, which comprises the majority of habitat survey work. Further detail of the vegetation communities can be acquired by carrying out a Phase 2 or National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey, which is often useful for monitoring sites.

Example of previous/current projects:

  • Biodiversity Monitoring Framework – Devon County Council and Devon Wildlife Trust.
  • County Wildlife Sites project – Devon County Council and local authorities.
  • Plymouth Ancient Tree Survey – Plymouth City Council.
  • Sabellaria survey – Devon Wildlife Trust.
  • Survey for Landowners.