Problems?

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
faithanstey
Problems?

As the blog seems to have become inactive, but these forums have now become active, I would be interested to hear of any problems other volunteeers have experienced in locating plots, deciding on habitats, identifying plants, recording data online, or anything else. 

barbara99
entered data

I have checked the data that I entered last time and find most have green ticks beside them ,others do not. Any ideas what this means? I know the recordings are correct.

NPMSSupport
Re: entered data

Hi Barbara,

All of the data that is entered into the Biological Records Centre database is verified, for about two thirds of species this happens automatically but the remaining third are checked manually by a reviewer. I have no doubt that your records are correct and it will just be that they haven't been reviewed yet.

Best wishes

Hayley

julia mccord
Entering data for 2nd survey

Yesterday, 13th August, I set up my 3 plots for allocated square ST8973 and entered all my first survey data for each plot. Then I tried to enter all my second survey data. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 3 plots showed on the display. I've entered the 2nd survey data for plots 2 & 3 but the first plot is not showing on the display. I can see what's been entered on the My Data tab but have no way of entering the second survey data for plot 1. Please can you help? I'm going on holiday for a month very shortly so would appreciate a quick response. I apologise if this isn't the correct forum for this post, it's the best I could do.

Julia 

NPMSSupport
Re: Entering data for 2nd survey

Hi Julia,

Thanks very much for entering your data, I can't work out where your plot one has gone under the indicator recording form, the data for your first survey is still there and so is the plot. I would just add a new sample and enter your second visit data that way and don't worry if it then appears with add survey 2 as we will know that you have entered two lots for the same plot.

I will reply to your email as well in case you pick that up first.

Best wishes

Hayley

barbara99
uploading photos

Hi, could you give me some advice on uploading photos please. When I do it ,it says the file is too big and when I decrease the size of the photo  it says it is the wrong type of file. Thank you
 

NPMSSupport
Re - uploading photos

Hi Barbara, The maximum size is 4MB and the file types are: jpg, png, gif or jpeg. You can use save as to select one of these file types. Let me know if you are still having problems. Best wishes, Hayley

barbara99
uploading photos

Thank you Hayley . I managed to make the photos smaller by emailing them to myself and then saving them . There is probally a better way to do it but it worked.

BERRI-SA
BERRI-SA's picture
problems?

my biggest problem has been locating plots.  I had no difficulty deciding the areas I should sample and then locating the plots/co-ordinates on-line - my square is principally heathland/deciduous woodland with a tiny bit of arable margin down the bottom !  Once I got on site however .... grrrr .... have been utterly frustrated at my inability to find the co-ordinates of the plots accurately.  Greatest difficulty has been with the app I chose - View Ranger.  Can anybody suggest a better one.  I don't think View Ranger was really designed for this kind of thing, and if it was, it seems overly complicated. 

An added frustration has been that with two of the plots I have chosen, I can only realistically get CLOSE, because allthough it is heathland (managed), there is so  much scrub birch and gorse and the heather is almost waist high that access is practically impossible.  Have umm-ed and ahh-ed a bit about choosing an 'easy' plot (and being a bit less random ?) and editing the co-ordinates on-line - once I've been able to establish what they are !  As I say, View Ranger seems to be unnecessarily complicated in this respect - unless I'm doing it all wrong !

Adding to my frustration ... and annoyance ... last time I went out I lost all my maps - somewhere - and I was in no mood to go back and hunt for them in the middle of all the gorse and scrub !  

Hayley - do you think you could send me another map of my square - SU8534 - please !  Or can I download/print it from somewhere ?

NPMSSupport
Hi Sue,

Hi Sue,

After opening View Ranger if you tap the green N arrow in the middle of the screen at the bottom it should take you to your position and the grid reference is at the top of the screen. To make sure these come out as a national grid go to Settings -> Map settings -> Coordinate type -> National grid

I will get a new map in the post to you today.

Best wishes

Hayley

BERRI-SA
BERRI-SA's picture
Thanks for the map, Hayley

Thanks for the map, Hayley

Have been busy but will try and get out to give View Ranger another go soon

Sue

regularuk
regularuk's picture
square border

Hi,

I would like to know, if a couple of my plots are a few metres outside my square, is that data not useful? This is partly down to having interesting habitats on the edge of my square and partly to my poor navigation skills. Would hate for that time to have been wasted.

Thanks,

ElizabethD
ElizabethD's picture
data outside the square

We did our late Spring/early summer survey today - and as usual found little that we consider to be of interest - but lots of nice stuff outside! C'est la vie!

OliP_NPMS
Plots on square borders still useful!

A few metres (or even a few tens of metres) outside the square are not a problem. We are aware that there are some plots like this, and will not discard them.

Many thanks

Oli

tomopteris
Arable field margins

Hi,

I have a plot on an arable field margin, which I originally set up as a square plot, but now realise that it should be a linear plot. Is it too late to change it? I suspect I originally did this because I was short on square plots within my grid square, which has few accessible areas within scheme habitats.

Many thanks

Tom

NPMSSupport
Hi Tom

Hi Tom

It is better from a data point of view if the same plots can be used year on year however you can change your plot if you feel it is important. The number/range of plot shapes is a recommendation but we know that it isn't always going to be possible to find them in your square. 

Best wishes

Rachel

cath90
Hi everyone. I was hoping for

Hi everyone. I was hoping for some advice from some more experienced surveyors if okay!

It’s my first year doing this and, due to illness and job problems, I have not been able to fully complete my first round of surveys. I think I am also extra slow as I learn everything and hope to speed up with more practice! I have, however, established contact with all landowners and, until this week, all was going really well.

Now I want to do round two but it looks like access will be tricky in places as:

In Square one, pheasants were released a few weeks back at woodland survey sites - farmer here says would prefer no surveying after June next year as he doesn't want to upset his tenants, despite happily agreeing to this when I first approached him. I do get his concerns though and he has made sure I can still survey tomorrow so that's good.

In square two, despite me making contact ages ago, the main landowner doesn't seem to want to engage at all, although it seems I can get to most of the places I want to from public paths. 

I totally accept their wishes in both cases of course; these are active pieces of land with plenty of demands on them. 

So, my intentions now are:
Square one - survey as much as I can see tomorrow without annoying the gamekeeper. Only go in May/June next year - probably one round of surveys rather than two.
Square two - use binoculars from the piblic footpath (its a seawall next to saltmarsh) to do what I can. I think actually I can get to most of the important places I wanted to visit.

My question is, do you think my rather erratic data is still valid/usefulto NPMS or is it too much of a tangle? Any advice would be most welcome. Catherine

asmith37
Hi Cath,

Hi Cath,

Thanks for your message. If this is your first year of surveying, and it looks as though some of your plots may not be accessible to survey, it may make sense to move those plots to areas that are accessible. 

If your first square is OK to access at least once a year, and you have already surveyed it twice now, then you might want to keep those plots as they are.

For square two, if you are not able to get close to the actual plot, it could be tricky. Accurately surveying the plot using binoculars will probably be rather difficult. In this case it probably does makes sense to move the plots to somewhere you can access in the square. If you cannot set up square plots because of access restrictions, you could have more linear plots, along footpaths/road verges for example, providing these are safe to access.

Does this help at all? Feel free to ask further questions or give more details about your square, and I can try to give some more specific advice.

All the very best,

Alison

cath90
Hi there

Hi there

Thanks for the reply, very much appreciated - I find it really helpful to have this discussion! I do have a few further questions though if that's okay...

So, square one surveying went fine the other day. The square basically looks like remnants of older woodland in small patches within a working arable farm, and I am sure I will be able to survey everything I chose once next year in June or early July because at that point it should be accessible, so that is all good. I tried to stick to the 'suggested square' protocol (along with some linears) which were within areas of stream or woods, but, inevitably, the largest bits of woodland fell outside them and are full of pheasant pens for quite a while now. I was going to add a couple of plots, one in each 'large area', for next year. Would this fit the survey methodology okay? 

Square two is more of an issue. To describe it in more detail, there is a massive down-pointing V shape of arable land which covers the majority of the square and which stretches into a very large area of estuary. It has saltmarsh against seawall on the edges of it (it is lovely) and is probably vulerable to getting eroded by river traffic (seems a theme with saltmarsh).

There are three landowners. The extreme left I can access - very supportive farmer, but only about 10% of the square as a while, and contains the very end of the saltmarsh itself. The extreme right I can access - part of a reserve, larger area of saltmarsh and this is about 10% of the square. This area is separate from the main 'V' of arable coast.

By far the largest area belongs to the landowner in the middle and he's the one who isn't keen, although initally his farmworkers said he'll be fine with it. That bit of land has some interesting hedges and field margins and a length of old overgrown sea wall within it, but it also has the most developed stretch of saltmarsh from what I can see from photographs/opposite shore. That's the bit I thought was most valuable to survey, especially as it's within the Blackwater Estuary

It turns out there isn't a public footpath along that part of the sea wall after all. It feels like a missed opportunity, so I have found someone reliable who will take me over by boat (entirely my responsibility and promise not to fall in. Really looking forward to it). Hopefully I can get right up to a recognisable plot of saltmarsh and do a proper, detailed survey. If not, I will do more detailed surveying on the left and right areas of the square and will do as you suggest with some more square and linears. I realise that boat trips are not easy to replicate, but there is talk of the sea wall becoming a right of way at some point and if that actually happens then access would become easier. Does that sound okay? 

Sorry, this became long (again)! Catherine

 

asmith37
Hi Catherine,

Hi Catherine,

It's fine if you want to set up extra plots, in addition to the ones you are already doing. If you are putting these plots in the larger woodland areas, which don't fall within the 'pre-selected' plot locations, the key is to try to put the plots in areas which seem representative of what the woodland in general. This will help reduce bias from selecting the 'nicest' or 'most interesting' places to put the plots.

For your second square, it does get tricky if there are access issues. The guidance recommends to survey as many different NPMS habtiats as you can, and to also try to use the 'pre-selected plot locations'. If there are areas that meet this criteria on the land of the two landowners that are happy for you to access their land then that's great. It might be nice to access the middle bit for the saltmarsh habitat, but if the landowner isn't ammenable then perhaps just stick to the other areas? The key is to survey areas that are representative of the habitat condition (not necessarily the most interesting/species-rich areas, though in the case of your saltmarsh, in an ideal world, surveying the middle of the habitat rather than edges might be desirable).

Is the area you are accessing by boat still private land? Worth checking that the landowner is happy for you to access that bit too, if you haven't already. They may also be able to advise about the safety of that area. Make sure you check tides and be aware that the mud may be deep in places. 

Good luck with the rest of your surveying and take care,

Alison

 

cath90
Hi Alison

Hi Alison

Thanks for the reply. Square one I'll take your advice for next year and include some more woodland plots earlier in the year. For square two, I went out on a boat with a different 'skipper', the warden of the local nature reserve, last week and did the surveys - it went really well. We also stopped just slightly to the north of the square which apparently has some of the best 'transitional' saltmarsh habitat in the county - really interesting and there will be some return visits for more surveying for them hopefully.

Best wishes! Catherine

 

lindsays
First year on square

Hi all,

I was allocated a square in July but I wouldn't have a chance to visit until this week. Should I complete my late summer survey this year or just do a recon and wait for next year. I have no idea who the landowners are - I was just going to knock the door of the nearest farm.

Any advice appreciated,

 

Lindsay

asmith37
Hi Lindsay,

Hi Lindsay,

It's not too late to do the late summer survey, so if you have time to do it this year that would be great. You might find some of the plants have gone over or are very dried up because of the summer we've had, but that's fine. Their absence in the data from this year is useful to know, and it will be interesting to compare with other summers when we have wetter weather. Knocking on doors to find out who the landowner is will probably be the easiest way. Hope it all goes well,

All the best,

Alison

ToniDavis
Know that it won't take much

Know that it won't take much time fromus to even work on australia assignment writing service and then get what they've always wanted. It will be quite hard for me and I will never get to wher ei wanted.

Log in or register to post comments