Monitoring taxa and habitats

Kent Wildlife Trust monitoring projects

Kent Wildlife Trust Reserves, Living Landscapes and other interests include the following habitats of conservation priority:

  • Ancient & species rich hedgerows
  • Arable
  • Chalk rivers
  • Coastal & floodplain grazing marsh
  • Coastal sand dunes, vegetated shingle, maritime cliff and slopes
  • Intertidal sediment – saltmarsh, mudflat & seagrass beds
  • Lowland calcareous grassland
  • Lowland dry acid grassland
  • Lowland fen
  • Lowland heath
  • Lowland meadows
  • Lowland neutral grassland
  • Marine rock – littoral & sublittoral chalk, Sabellaria spinulosa reefs
  • Native woodland including coppice, carr and wet woodland
  • Reedbeds
  • Standing open water
  • Subtidal sediments

What do we monitor?

The monitoring we carry out has been carefully designed to look at the groups of species most suited to assessing the quality of the particular habitats found on our reserves and in our Living Landscapes, and in a way that maximises the ease, efficiency and sustainability of our approach. Resources are always limited, and we aim to make the best use of what is available to us. The species of course are conservation priorities in their own right!

In developing our monitoring strategy, assessment of the various species groups considered the existence of well-established monitoring schemes for those species, the level of expertise required to identify them, taxonomic complementarity, the practicality of monitoring each group in the field, and importantly the usefulness of each group in assessing the quality of habitats, the number and range of those habitats in which they occur, and the affinity and specificity of species within those groups for specific habitats and microhabitats. The aim is to monitor groups with a large enough number of species that there is a good range of specialisms for different niches across a broad range of habitats, where identification guides or keys, distribution information, and ecological knowledge, are sufficient to make the group useful. Of course we also monitor individual species of conservation importance too such as water voles, dormice and reptiles.