Field Survey

This Work Package was responsible for the collection of field data required for the 2007 Survey. Its main objective was to coordinate the logistics of the fieldwork undertaken for:

The responsibilities of the Field Survey Work Package included:

  • Recruiting and training field surveyors
  • Coordinating survey teams on the ground
  • Liaising with landowners
  • Sourcing and maintaining existing and new equipment as required
  • Producing the Countryside Survey ‘Field Handbook’ and developing field protocols (including issues of health and safety)
  • Ensuring all samples and data are delivered to other relevant Work Packages as soon after collection as possible

The field survey commenced in May 2007 and was completed in November the same year.

More detail:

What does the Field Survey involve?

The surveying of over 591 1km x 1km squares across GB requires a great deal of careful planning and management. The fieldwork itself was carried out by approximately 64 surveyors, divided into 16 teams of 4 people in each.

All of the surveyors undergo an intensive four-week training course to ensure the highest possible level of quality assurance. In addition, a small team from the Field Survey Work package is responsible for visiting the survey squares and repeating aspects of the survey as a quality assurance check (this alone involves a total of roughly 350 days on site).

The fieldwork within each 1km x 1km Survey square includes:

  • Mapping Broad and Priority habitats, as well as linear and point features
  • Recording 29 vegetation plots (on average)
  • Collecting measurements and samples from streams and ponds
  • Collecting soil samples
  • Taking geo-referenced photographs of plots to illustrate their settings

What are the outputs of the Field Survey?

Scientific data collected by the Field Survey Work Package comprises:

  • Vegetation data in electronic format (from repeat studies of plots surveyed in 1998/99; from new plots in arable field margins; and from plots in 60 new squares)
  • Spatial data on Broad and Priority Habitats, as well as linear and point features, for all 591 squares of the Survey
  • An aquatic macrophyte survey, a river habitats survey and various samples from the 425 squares surveyed by the Freshwaters Work Package in 1998
  • Mapped locations of ponds in approximately 259 squares
  • Pond survey data from one pond in each square
  • Soil cores taken from each of the 5 ‘Main Plots’ surveyed by the Soils Work Package since 1978
  • Veteran tree survey data for up to 10 trees per square