Anyone with land to manage would be well advised to start off with a basic survey of the habitats present. This can provide the foundations for management planning, monitoring schemes and more detailed survey work. In the UK we have a standard methodology for such surveys, known as Phase 1 Habitat Survey and here at Denmark Farm we have been training people to undertake such surveys for many years.
Over two days, participants learn about all the key features of a Phase 1 survey – both the fieldwork and writing up the report. Plus there’s ample opportunity to discuss the relevance of the technique to each individual’s job or situation. As a result the course is suitable for conservation professionals and land owners alike. And for anyone interested in working in conservation or ecological surveying, the course provides an important skill that isn’t generally taught in undergraduate degrees but that many employers specify as being essential.
Most courses covering Phase 1 Habitat survey last only a single day, but by spending two days at Denmark Farm, we have the opportunity to have a go at various aspects of the field work as well as learning the theory. We discuss the variety of habitats and then go out and look at some examples. We progress on to considering habitat classification when the descriptions in the manual overlap. In addition, we focus on some of the key indicator species for certain habitats. As part of the training, participants use maps and create their own sketch maps. Practicalities are also covered, including planning surveys, training surveyors, equipment and lone working.
So, if you are interested in learning about this important technique and enhancing your skills, why not join me when I next run this course?