Level 1 Survey : Walkover

A thorough walk-over survey should be carried out even if you already think you know the industrial treescape well. The aim is to methodically cover all the study area criss-crossing the woodland to identify the location of prominent features relating to its geology, topography, ecology and archaeology. It is a rapid assessment so there is no need to spend too long examining any individual tree or other feature. A walk-over survey form should be completed with accompanying photographs or sketches. As a minimum, record:

  • The date of the survey.
  • Who carried out the survey.
  • Where the survey was carried out (provide map references or GPS reference points where possible).
  • The locations and brief description of any features.

A survey of a large wood can seem daunting so break the area down systematically into smaller, more manageable chunks, and agree a suitable timetable. If compartments already exist then it may be more meaningful if your surveys match these. It is recommended that a general survey (Level 1) of the whole woodland is carried out before a very detailed survey of a small area. Always remember that, as a volunteer, you can return to the woodland and expand the surveys at a later date.

An appropriate map, the 1:2,500 scale (1mm on the map = 2.5m on the ground) is recommended for a general survey. It will have fixed point features already mapped which you can use as reference points for your more detailed mapping and to orientate yourself.

The walk over survey form and instructions for completing it can be downloaded here or see the survey guide pages 21-22 and 28-29. The pages can be copied for survey purposes.