We are among the most experienced botanical surveyors in Britain, with expertise in a wide range of environments and various types of survey:
1. Vegetation classification, description and mapping
We are experts with the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) which is the most detailed classification of plant communities in Britain and is used widely to inform conservation and land management work and for ecological assessments of proposed developments. We have been using the NVC since 1986 and have surveyed over 2,500 square kilometres with this classification in Britain. This includes NVC surveys of many large sites such as Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, Cranstackie, Quinag, Ben More Coigach, Rassal, Beinn Eighe, Schiehallion, Beinn a’ Ghlo, the Trotternish Ridge on Skye, the whole islands of Mull, Eigg, Lismore and Kerrera, and large areas of northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also have extensive survey experience with other classifications: the Phase One habitat classification, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) habitat classification, the classification of EU Annex 1 habitats, the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) and the recently developed UK Habitat Classification (UKHab), as well as a good understanding of the inter-relationships among all of these classifications. In addition we have a good knowledge and understanding of vegetation types that are not included in the NVC; this is important when working with this vegetation classification.
2. Assessment of habitat condition/quality
Some of our vegetation surveys have focused more on habitat condition (e.g. naturalness, effects of artificial land use, etc) than on the classification of vegetation type, so we are very experienced with methods of condition assessment such as Site Condition Monitoring (SCM) which combines elements of survey and monitoring, and Herbivore Impact Assessment (HIA) to assess the effects of grazing and browsing by large herbivores such as deer, sheep and cattle. Many of our surveys in Scotland in recent years have also included assessments of habitats in relation to the classification of Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTE). All of these types of survey help to assess the overall quality or significance of vegetation, habitats and whole sites, and are used widely to inform decisions about future land use, including proposals for various types of development.
3. Species surveys
We have also carried out many surveys that have focused on recording plant species rather than classifying, describing and mapping plant communities. These species surveys have been very varied and include surveys of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) at several hundred sites, especially in woodland and upland habitats in Scotland, northern England and Wales (some of these surveys done for proposed hydro-electric schemes) and other vascular plant species surveys of the vascular plant floras of sites or of selected species of particular interest.