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NVC Surveys


The survey is more in depth than a Phase 1 Habitat survey, as it breaks the habitats down into detailed constituent parts. NVC methodology has become standard for phase 2 surveys and it can also serve as a basis for developing appropriate management plans for a site.

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Survey Inventory
  • 1. Background Information
  • 2. Survey Methodology
Background Information

The NVC system is a way of classifying plant communities found within the UK based on vascular plant frequencies and abundances. The NVC was commissioned by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) to provide a nationally accepted, comprehensive and systematic catalogue of all British plant communities that avoids fitting British flora into descriptions that have been developed elsewhere in Europe. It was designed to help understand how particular plant communities are related to soil, climate and human impacts, and how they change from place to place and through time.


Survey Methodology

The survey involves a preliminary site assessment to gain detail on the extent and scale of variation in vegetation cover. The whole site is walked over and the different vegetation types are noted on a site map and photos taken. A more detailed survey of each vegetation type is then undertaken. A minimum of one quadrat representative of the vegetation is sampled at each homogenous vegetation type. A full species list is written up and a quantitative measure of abundance is recorded using the DOMIN scale, a scale which assesses percentage cover of each species in the quadrat.

Each vegetation type assessed in the field is classified according to the nationally recognised vegetation classifications and these are recorded on a detailed site map. A report will then be written that fulfils the needs of the survey objectives.

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