Working to restore blanket bog in North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is a habitat restoration project. Its aim is to conserve habitat for wildlife, create an important carbon source for climate change and clean drinking water, which is provided by the blanket bog. The blanket bog also serves to provide flood and fire protection to the area.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust needed to carry out pre-survey mapping on upland they are trying to restore. This involved looking at maps along with aerial and drone footage of the area to examine damage to the blanket bog, what it consists of and where it is.
Matthew Snelling is a Peatland Restoration Assistant for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. He said:
“There are huge erosion features which are partially man made where the blanket bog has been damaged by excessive burning, overgrazing or man-made drainage. We needed to be able to identify these areas of erosion to within a metre so we could send people back out to that location to repair the site.”
Through MGISS, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust upgraded to using the CHC LT500T with MGISS sourced software. Matthew said:
“It allows us to have all the information we need with us in the field on a small handheld unit. These are extensive, complex networks, so we need to get it right first time when we’re sending contractors in. The upland areas we’re working in are pretty featureless apart from the erosion that we can physically see, so going back to the same place is extremely difficult unless you have the exact GPS location.”
The CHC LT500T is designed for projects requiring sub metre accuracy. The LT500T is tough and built to last. Lightweight and compact, it fits in one hand. The device boasts the largest, best-in-class screen. Despite the lightweight design, it is dust and water resistant to an IP67 rating.
The solution enables Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to categorise all the information they need in this small handheld unit. From that, they can calculate the restoration plan to bring the area of bog back to what it should be.
Matthew Snelling explains:
“Part of our job is to block the gullies up again. We want to keep the water near the surface. The hydrology of these habitats is really important as to how they work.”
“Once we’ve collected the point data on the map, we process it using QGIS and/or ArcMap and create maps with different categories of features. This could be a map showing a two metre wide gully with all its features for example. We can input all this information into our restoration plan and then we can work with contractors to go back with very specific prescriptions to repair the damage, such as to place a dam in a certain place within the gully.”
“The LT500s are everything to us when we’re out in the field. They have every feature that we need. It would take so much longer to send a contractor out especially when they’re not familiar with the site. Here they’re able to pick up the job straight away through the points and the data that we share with them in a shape file so it’s hugely important.”
“Processing the data is much easier as it has an SD card and you just pop that straight into the computer, so it saves so much time and we love the large screen which means we can see information easily out in the field. We’ve also had great support from MGISS and having the guidance on carrying the least amount of kit while keeping it as rugged as possible has been very helpful.”