How to do a full assessment in the UKHab Survey

In this help document we’re going to look at completing a full UKHab Survey in the app. This article is based on using the UKHab Survey App v2.0.


  • Make sure you are in the relevant UKHab Survey project on your device and select the Add Record button.
  • Choose the UKHab survey form

You’ll now be on the Location page for the record. There are two main workflows from this point:

  1. Adding a habitat feature directly in the UKHab Survey.
  2. Selecting a pre-surveyed habitat feature.

In these instructions we assume that you already have a pre-surveyed habitat feature to work with. However, in practice, you may also add a geometry directly in the full UKHab Survey form (i.e. without the need to pre-survey). If you wish to do this, skip ahead to the next section titled “Applying Habitat Codes“.

  • Choose the Layer Switcher icon (highlighted below)

The first step is to make sure that you can see your pre-survey form data, and that you have your preferred base mapping selected (here we will work with the Satellite layer).

  • Make sure that the UKHab pre-survey form layer is visible (tap the eye icon to activate it if not).
  • Select the Satellite layer, if not already selected.
  • Click on the “X” to exit the Layer Switcher window.

You should now be able to see any pre-survey features you’ve added.

  • Locate the pre-survey feature you would like to perform the full UKHab survey on and tap on it to select it.
  • The only option you now have is to copy the feature’s geometry. Select the Copy Geometry button

You’ll now see the habitat feature in a selected and editable state.

The Copy Geometry feature duplicates the feature’s geometry for use in the full survey. It uses the pre-survey feature as a template. This means that if you edit the location of nodes (vertices) you will the pre-survey layer beneath. The idea of this is that, as in this example, your pre-survey geometry may be incorrect. By copying the geometry, you are able to adjust it for use in the full survey, to match what you find out in the field.

  • Make any adjustments to the feature’s geometry to make it accurate. Note the pre-survey layer is visible beneath.

All the geometry tools will be available at this stage. For more detailed info on how to use them you can read our guide here.

  • Select Next when you’re happy.

Applying Habitat Codes

You’ll now work through classifying your habitat.

  • Select the relevant level 2 code for your habitat feature using the dropdown menu provided.
  • As you select each level the subsequent level’s classifications will become available for you to select.
  • Tap Next when finished.

Add Secondary Codes

The app now presents you with the Secondary codes summary screen, this outlines the differences between UKHab surveying or surveying for BNG projects when applying secondary codes. Select Next to begin adding codes.

You will now have access to two drop down menus which contain a complete list of the appropriate essential and additional secondary codes for your selected habitat type.

  • Make any relevant selections in the Secondary Codes drop down menus and then choose Next

Add Species Records

A significant update to v2.0 is the ability to add species lists to your habitat feature. You also have the option of adding these to quadrats and recording abundance using DAFOR or DOMIN.

  • Select the species you wish to record from the dropdown menu. This is a full UK botanical list.
  • Next enter the Quadrat number (if the species was recorded using a quadrat, otherwise leave blank)
  • You will notice the Species Validation section, this will highlight if you add multiple of the same species to a single quadrat by accident. You do not need to interact with it.
  • Select the cover abundance of the species using either the DAFOR or DOMIN scale
  • Choose Next to continue
  • You will now have the option to add any relevant notes and photos to this record.
  • Tap Next when you are happy with your inputs.
  • If you wish to record the exact location of the plant/quadrat, use the point tool to do so.
  • Select Done when finished
  • You will now be taken back to the species record page where you can add addition species records.
  • Once you have completed your species records tap Next.

Add Condition Assessments and additional information

Condition assessments are built into the app. In this section, you decide if you wish to record condition.

Based on the habitat codes applied earlier in the process you will only see the relevant condition assessment questions.

  • Choose Yes to add a condition assessment

The following pages will ask you whether to add condition criteria based on the habitat you are surveying. In this example we will select yes for the condition criteria.

  • Select the relevant responses and then tap Next
  • Repeat this process for any additional condition criteria assessments, where relevant.
  • Tap Next to be taken to the notes page

Add Notes

The final screen in the process of adding data gives you the option to:

  • Add text notes on habitat
  • Add text notes on condition
  • Add photos to support each of the above
  • Once you have completed the above, select Done.

Summary and Submission

You’ll now see a summary of your record, where you can review the data before submission.

  • If you’re happy with your record select Save and Sync, if you’re online. If offline, Save will skip the attempt to submit the record and will store it immediately in your Pending folder.
  • You now have the option to either submit another record or to exit and return to the home page.
  • Choose Exit to return to the home page.

Your record can now be viewed on the home page map.

  • To ensure you can see it, select the Map Settings icon and make sure that the UKHab survey data is set as visible in the Form Layer section.

If you want to view all of your record’s data in the app, you can tap on it and select the the Open Record button.

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