Surveys and data gathering

If you’re interested in learning more about the history, geology and ecology of the High Weald, carrying out surveys is a rewarding – and often fascinating – activity for groups or individuals.

Surveys also help gather valuable data which the High Weald AONB Partnership can use to develop guidance and policy to conserve the AONB.

PLEASE NOTE: You must get permission from the landowner if you wish to carry out surveys on private land.

Get involved in:

If you are a group or individual interested in doing ‘something’ in your local area but aren’t sure what, species recording is one of the best ways to start. You can do it very simply using a range of free websites and apps, and it has an instant impact.

iRecord is the best way to start sharing data; communities can set up ‘activities’ to see where things are being recorded, giving you a sense of shared action.

Visit the iRecord website.

Species data from iRecord gets verified by local and national verifiers, downloaded by the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre and goes into our AONB database. From here it is shared through our data search reports and sent to local authorities for use in the planning system.

If iRecord isn’t an option, talk to us about the best way to share data and we can find a solution.

Hedges are one of the High Weald’s most iconic landscape features, criss-crossing the area’s rolling hills and providing its distinctive ‘patchwork’ field pattern.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is running a national project to survey Britain’s hedgerows and give them a ‘health check’.

There is a set methodology and it is easy to submit data.

Visit the PTES hedgerow survey microsite.

We are always looking for communities to help us gather data on light pollution to support Dark Skies policies.

This involves going out after dark and taking readings using a light meter, then feeding the data back to us so we can create maps of the AONB/s darkest areas.

Read more about our Dark Skies activity and get involved >>

We have developed guidance for farmers and land managers in the High Weald AONB who would like to assess their soil health but do not know where to start.

The soil may be under arable, grassland, woodland, wetland, or any other piece of land which is not covered by a man-made structure.

Download soil health assessment guidance>>

Archaeology surveys

The High Weald is full of archaeology that has yet to be discovered and recorded.

Archaeological surveys tell a story about human use of our landscape and help protect rare features from damage and loss, particularly if woodland management works or development is planned.

We have a range of toolkits for those interested in surveying the archaeology of the High Weald’s special habitats, including woodlands and historic routeways.

We also hold LiDAR (light detection and ranging) images for the Weald Forest Ridge area of the AONB. These aerial pictures clearly show the contours, lumps and bumps of the landscape and expose the hidden secrets beneath the surface.

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