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Research your site

There are many reasons for investigating and subsequently monitoring aspects of floodplain meadows. They are complex and dynamic systems; obtaining information about the soils, hydrology and plant communities will help inform decision making about management. On going monitoring can assess the effects of management practices and the impacts of external factors.

Investigation and monitoring:-

Need to relate to stated objectives for the site and in some cases wil help set and subsequently refine them.

Investigation:-

The process of obtaining new data about a site, whether through initial survey work or from existing records. Investigatory work will create a baseline dataset for subsequent monitoring.

Monitoring:-

Survey work that provides comparable results over a period of time. It is important to use appropriate and replicable techniques from the start.

The flowchart below shows the main elements of investigation and monitoring that may be useful on a floodplain meadow. Investigation may also include finding out about characteristics of the site such as the soil profile, texture and structure, and also investigation into the water levels and movement which together will provide information on how water moves through the site, and therefore assist in understanding the differences in vegetation. Such information may lead to changes in management practices. Much of this information will also be needed for floodplain meadow restoration.