Lake Habitat Survey: Phase 3
Summary of Final
Field Survey Guidance
Manual – Version 4
The Lake Habitat Survey (LHS) is a method designed to assess and
characterise the physical habitats of lakes, reservoirs and ponds
(collectively known as
standing waters). It is applicable to all types of permanent standing
(including brackish lakes and those with tidal influence). The method
adaptation for use at non-permanent lakes such as turloughs and meres.
LHS has been developed to fulfil the requirements of the Water
Framework Directive, along with those of ‘Common Standards
and ‘Condition Monitoring’ for designated sites in
the UK. It can also play a pivotal role in
systematising habitat assessment for environmental impact assessment
programmes of measures aimed at restoring degraded lake ecosystems.
Phase 1 of LHS development began in 2004 with SNIFFER project WFD40
“Development of a technique for Lake Habitat Survey
(LHS)”. The project was contracted to and carried out by the
Environmental Systems Research
Group, University of Dundee. Two variants of the survey were tested.
was designed for rapid deployment and contained a sub-set of core data
the full version (LHSfull). Field sampling was conducted by contractors
teams from the environment and conservation agencies in Great Britain
Ireland. A workshop was convened following the field trials to review
the protocol drawing on the expertise of participants from the United
Europe and the United States (USA). The decision was taken to
Phase 2 of the development began with another LHS workshop to help
strengthen the ecological content of the approach. Version 3.1 of the
was again extensively tested in the UK and increasingly internationally
2005 as summarised in SNIFFER Project WFD42 (2006).
Phase 3 is the latest phase in the development of the protocol and
incorporates amendments arising from both domestic and international
the survey. Field trials have now been conducted countries including
France, Ireland, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and The
Netherlands. The latest
version of the field form is now Version 4 (2008) and this manual
necessary instructions to implement the method. Phase 3 of the
programme introduced a formal training and accreditation requirement
recognises ‘Accredited LHS Surveyors’.
Copies of the reports are available from the Foundation, in electronic
format on CDRom at £20.00 + VAT or hard copy at
£25.00, less 20% to FWR members.
The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website