Field Survey Season ends
November sees the end of the field survey season in Kent and the habitat mapping team contracting back to the core members. Four field surveyors have been out since the beginning of April validating the aerial photographic interpretation. Using all weather tablet computers and a bespoke GIS tool each survey team member covered an average 45 hectares a day. An excellent output given 35 hectares a day achieved in 2010 and the target of 22 hectares a day set in the project proposal.
By the end of the season the team had surveyed a total of 19,500 hectares. Last year a smaller team working a shorter season surveyed 5000 hectares. Some further surveying is proposed over winter but confined to the validation of traditional orchards, reedbeds and wet woodland. The total area surveyed by the end of the project should exceed 25,000 hectares.
In addition the incorporation of the Environment Agency 2010 field survey data for grazing marsh and salt marsh will increase the total surveyed area to approximately 30,000 hectares.
The total semi natural habitat in Kent is approximately 97,000 hectares (Data from 2003 habitat survey) of which 50,000 hectares are non-woodland habitats and these form the priority target for the project though a significant proportion will have protected status and field surveyed by project partners.
The mapping team has a new addition, Claudio Ramos, who will be assisting Nienke Eernisse with the GIS preparation and editing. His key role will be the editing of the 2003 data in readiness for the land cover change analysis.