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NVC surveys of a SSSI

WFE was commissioned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust to conduct an NVC survey of an extensive SSSI in central Norfolk – Rush Meadow. This is a substantial area of swamp, wet woodland and species rich grassland recently acquired by the Trust. The NVC survey was required to inform management decisions and influence grazing and scrub removal.

The site was examined using aerial photographs, and divided into areas of homogeneous vegetation. These areas were ground-truthed and quadrat sampled over several visits. Although visits were undertaken in good weather, there were treacherous ground conditions across the site and copious biting insects – a bit like the jungle had come to Norfolk!

The data was analysed using a number of different tools, including the NVC volumes, constancy tables and statistical tools to provide satisfactory assessment of vegetation communities. The final maps show complex geographical patterning through the site, with several important vegetation communities demonstrably present.

NVC survey

The final NVC map of Rush Meadow SSSI showing the complexity of habitats on the site

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