The Monitoring and Research Team regularly visits our nature reserves to see how they are doing, working with Nature Reserve Management Teams across the three counties. We look at the ecological condition of different habitats in detail, and the effects of our management work, to make sure that what we are doing is having a positive effect on wildlife. Regular monitoring of habitats can flag up where we might need to focus more effort in a particular place, or tweak the management a bit. It can also highlight other factors (such as changes in water levels, or impacts of plant diseases) that may be having an impact on our reserves.
In recent years we have been setting up programmes of regular habitat monitoring which use the same method across all of our reserves, repeated at regular intervals. These consistent methods allow us to compare over time and also between sites, and give us specific data we can use to scientifically assess the effects of our management.