River Habitat Survey Toolbox software

The River Habitat Survey Toolbox software was designed to help practitioners with habitat assessment for the Water Framework Directive, Planning Applications, River Restoration and more.  The software is on a free trial for 30 days and it is available for 32 and 64 bit version of Windows with networking facility.

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RHS toolbox data input form

The River Habitat Survey (RHS) Toolbox software was developed to enable RHS surveyors to prepare for RHS surveys, input and analyse data. The RHS Toolbox will quality control data, identify potential errors, calculate indices and perform contextual analysis using the RHS baseline survey sites. Using this interface, users will be able to print RHS forms and perform additional analyses.

Updated versions of the RHS toolbox were produced for 32 and 64 bit versions of Access and the user data file can now shared on a network drive to enable multi-user access (beta version). Network sharing is only available with a site licence.

The RHS Toolbox content will develop over time and will provide full access to additional indices, 25000 sites on the RHS database, sharing of data between users, ToolHab functionality, in-built GIS, an Android app to input data in the field and much more. The RHS Toolbox has been applied to a series of commercial and non-commercial applications such as Water Framework Directive Assessment, planning application, habitat assessment etc (link to application page)

The RHS toolbox enables to:

  • Input RHS and additional map data
  • Run quality controls of the form including logical checks
  • Display RHS sites on online current and first edition OS maps
  • Calculate Jeffers PCA scores (Jeffers, 1998)
  • Calculate Habitat Modification and Quality indices (HQA and HMS) including sub-scores
  • Calculate the Riparian Quality Index to assess the naturalness, complexity and continuity of the riparian zone
  • Calculate four hydromorphological indices (see also the RHS indices page)
  • Calculate Hydromorphological Impact Ratios (see also the RHS indices page)
  • Perform Context Analysis and assess the site HQA score within the context of similar sites in the UK.
  • Calculate River Habitat Quality index for the site based on HQA and HMS (Environment Agency, 2003)
  • View and print RHS forms
  • Import data and photo from the Android RHS Mobile application.
  • Export RHS and context analysis data to multiple formats: Excel, pdf, html.
  • Extract GIS data and indices on altitude, slope, geology, hydromorphology, fine sediment input (Great Britain only).

Instructions to download and install the RHS Toolbox:
1- Download the zip file for the relevant version of the RHS Toolbox:

2- Create a RHS folder somewhere on your computer (e.g. C drive) and extract the content of the zip file into that folder.
3- If you do not have Access 2016 or later already installed on your PC, you can download and install the free Access 2016 runtime here (if you have Office 365, use this link)
4- Double-click the file RHSDataInput.accdr.

The RHS Toolbox development requires investment in time and resources so it is unfortunately not possible to deliver it free of charge. You have access to a trial version for 30 days after which you will have to register and purchase a license. During the trial period, every time you log in, you will be asked whether you wish to purchase a license and register. Information on pricing can be found here

Potential issues: the RHS Toolbox was tested on UK (English) Windows Operating Systems. Due to different ways of representing decimal points, some of its functionality may not work on French and other Operating Systems that use commas (,) instead of points (.) to represent the decimal fraction of real numbers. Please let us know if you come across such problems.