River Habitat Survey and applications

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The River Habitat Survey is a methodology for recording habitat features for wildlife that was designed by the Environment Agency, England and Wales and has since been applied in many other countries.

The River Habitat Survey is being used as a standard methodology for assessing hydromorphology as part of the Water Framework Directive in Europe and as a tool for monitoring river habitats and for assessing potential impacts of developments.  It has also been used as part of research projects on the links between species, habitats and environmental pressures and for species reintroduction or habitat enhancement work (see applications section).

The River Habitat Survey features an accreditation scheme run and managed by the Environment Agency, England and Wales (see the River Habitat Survey section and contact the Environment Agency for more information). Many local authorities require surveyors to be accredited to perform their work. There are at present more than 100 accredited surveyors in the UK and abroad.

This website was set up to provide background to the survey methodology and its applications and as a technical and methodological resource for existing surveyors and RHS trainers. It is not an official Environment Agency website.  It features a technical blog, a resource section with manuals, forms, reports, images and PowerPoint presentations, an events calendar with dates of training courses, a discussion forum and even a map of existing RHS sites in the UK. It also has specific sections dedicated (and restricted) to RHS trainers with additional resources and discussion forums. To access the discussion forum and additional resources, you need first to create an account and login (on the right-hand side bar).

The website was designed and hosted by myself (Marc Naura).  I joined the River Habitat Survey project team in 1995, a couple of years after it all started, and I was involved in the development of the methodology, database, applications and training for many years. I used to be the manager of the River Habitat Survey team in the Environment Agency and I trained surveyors and trainers in the UK and abroad. I have since joined academia and work as a self-employed researcher and consultant. I develop models, methods and decision support tools for managing biodiversity. I am still involved in RHS training and in the development of applications using RHS and other datasets (see applications section).

This site is under construction. Please provide your feedback in the forum section with any suggestions.