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Countryside Survey ‘ahead of the game’ in monitoring updated UK BAP species

August 2007

The UK Biodiversity Partnership has released an updated List of Priority Species and Habitats that deserve the highest conservation protection. The new list, which was released in June 2007, is a result of the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken in the UK, involving two years of work and over 500 people. It contains 1149 species and 65 habitats that have been identified as priorities for conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).

Countryside Survey training course takes place near Windermere

May 2007

65 ecologists and field surveyors assembled at a site near Windermere to be trained in all the specific details of surveying, according to Countryside Survey methods. They got to grips with the new equipment too (see next story). The three week course in April 2007 took place partly in the classroom and partly out in the field, in all kinds of weather.

Windermere was chosen as the best site for this course because the surveyors could be sent out to practise their new skills on different types of countryside or habitats, all within easy reach of base.

Cutting edge equipment gets its severest test

May 2007

This year’s survey sees the introduction of portable data recorders (similar to an extra-robust lap-top) and specially-developed software, to be used in all weathers by the surveyors. Previous Surveys saw surveyors struggling with numerous sheets of paper to record their findings, which then had to be transferred to computer back at base. Paper based recording was very difficult and awkward in bad weather, and transfer to computer was very labour intensive.

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