ARCH Kent Wildlife Habitat Survey
An update of the Kent Wildlife Habitat Survey, previously carried out in 1990 and 2000 has started. The survey is using a combination of aerial photograph analysis and selective field surveys and started on 1 April 2011.
In order to have an accurate record of new sites, sites that may have changed, and to check the classification of habitats, we have a team of five field surveyors in Kent who are visiting a selection of sites between 1 April 2011 and 30 September 2011. We recognise that your active interest in this work, and support to ensure it is completed successfully, is very important.
The Kent Wildlife Habitat Survey aims to improve ways in which key species and natural habitats are maintained, restored and expanded in Kent. The current survey aims to update the information obtained in previous surveys as well as conducting habitat change analysis.
- map habitats across the county
- record key plants found on selected sites
- identify areas for conservation and restoration projects to enhance Kent’s countryside and biodiversity
- improve access to important information for wildlife conservation and future land use
- enable planners and conservation professionals to target future development strategies
The main focus will be on the priority habitats such as chalk and neutral grasslands, heathland, acid grasslands and wet woodland. For a particular site, the surveyor will undertake a walk over the selected area and record a list of plant species in support of the classification. If the area is significantly different from that already recorded, they will redraw it in the field to produce an accurate representation of the area. This data will then be incorporated with the aerial photographic interpretation to produce an up-to-date map of Kent’s semi-natural habitats, which will be stored in a sophisticated management system and available in December 2012. This will allow individual locations or habitat records and trends to be retrieved across the entire county.
Part of the project is to conduct a detailed investigation of how land cover and land use has changed over the last 20 years. This will be presented in a separate report.