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River Habitat Surveys

River corridor surveys involve the assessment of the ecological value of river corridors and ditch systems. Rivers form complex and rich ecosystems, and may provide homes for protected species such as the white-clawed crayfish.



First Ecology Services


Desk Study


Compilation of existing information relevant to the river including descriptions of designated nature conservation areas and priority habitats and records of legally protected species, biodiversity priority species, red data book species and county notable species.


River Habitat Survey


  • Systematic recording of all physical features and vegetation types at set sample points along a watercourse.

  • Determination of watercourse catchment characteristics.

  • Provision of information on river structure, vegetation character and land-use required for SERCON (System for Evaluating Rivers for Conservation).

  • River Corridor Survey

  • Detailed recording of all physical features and vegetation types within a 100m wide corridor centred on the watercourse.


Impact Assessment


  • Determination of the value of ecological features and resources associated with the watercourse and examination of potential ecological impacts in terms of extent, magnitude, duration, timing, frequency, reversibility and cumulative effects.

  • Assessment of invasive non-native plant occurrence and potential legal liability under invasive plant legislation.

  • Strategic advice on project feasibility and site suitability.




  • Maps showing physical features and vegetation types along the watercourse.

  • Models showing new flow configurations




  • Precautionary working method statements to avoid or reduce ecological impacts including downstream pollution, sedimentation and alteration of natural water flow.

  • Aquatic habitat designs suitable for a specific species or ecological community.

  • Method statements detailing the creation of new sections of river, aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands.

  • Management plans for the maintenance, restoration or enhancement of sections of river, aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands.

  • Identification of candidate sites for statutory or non-statutory protection.




Design and implementation of an ecological monitoring strategy for rivers, aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands.