How to do a pre-survey in the UKHab Survey

In this help document we look at the UKHab pre-survey within the Coreo app, what it’s for and how to complete it. Note that this help document is for the UKHab Survey App v2.0 (Metric 4.0) edition.


The UKHab Survey presents you with two forms:

  • the Pre-survey and
  • the full UKHab survey recommends that you always complete a pre-survey. Its primary function is to enable you to capture the habitat features you want to survey in the field before you go out on site.

You can either add pre-survey data directly in the app or you can import existing geometries into the pre-survey from your GIS, should you have them. For help on how to do this please visit the following article – Importing Existing Pre-Survey Records (Habitat Features) into your UKHab Survey.

If adding habitat features via the app, you will do this using either the satellite imagery in the app or map images you have uploaded – see our help document on Uploading Map Imagery for further information.


  • Make sure you are in the relevant UKHab Survey project on your device. (If you need to install a project and require some help please see our guide here.)
  • Select the Add Record button (highlighted below).
  • Choose the UKHab Pre-survey form

You’re now on the Location page for the record. The first step is to make sure that you have your preferred base mapping selected (here we will choose the Satellite layer).

  • Choose the Layer Switcher icon (highlighted below)
  • Select the Satellite layer if not already selected (you will see the map change as you select it).
  • Tap the close “X” icon in the top right of the Map Settings window to exit.

The next step is to choose the type of feature you want to add. This can be a point, line or polygon. We will add a polygon in this example.

  • Zoom into the appropriate area at the level you require and draw your boundary as accurately as you can.
  • To add a polygon you can do so by using the add a point/node tool (blue button) or the draw tool (white pen icon), depending on preference. The draw tool will work with a stylus (e.g. Apple Pencil).

Notes on adding geometries

  • Cut out tool. If there are obvious features that you wish to exclude within the polygon (e.g. a pond or copse) you can do so using the Cut out tool. Draw a polygon within, or overlapping, the current one to remove that area.
  • Split tool. If you need to divide your existing habitat feature into several distinct areas, then use the Split tool. Within the UKHab Survey you will only be able to retain one of the areas to work with (you’ll be given the option of which to retain/discard).
  • Merge tool. If you need to add an area to your polygon you can do so using the Merge tool. With this selected, simply draw another polygon as an extension of the existing one.
  • If you need to move your polygon, simply press and hold to select it and then drag it to the desired location.

For a more detailed explanation of the geometry tools please see our guide on the subject here.

  • When you’re happy with your selection, choose the Next button.
  • On the following page choose the appropriate Level 2 habitat code.
  • Select Next on the confirmation page that follows.

Depending on the level 2 code chosen the page that follows may provide you with a selection of level 3, essential secondary codes and additional secondary codes.

These only represent a sub-set of the full range of codes and are those you could realistically expect to be able to determine from satellite imagery. These are optional and will be for informational purposes only (e.g. as with the Level 2 code, they don’t carry across into your full survey).

There is also a text box so that you can add notes to your record should you wish to do so.

  • Once you’re happy, choose Done

You’re now ready to review and submit your record. You can change your previous selections here should the need arise.

  • Once you’re happy, select Save and Sync (if you’re online) or Save (to save the record for submission at a later time).

You now have the option to either Submit Another record or Exit.

  • Choose Exit to return to the home page.

The pre-survey record can now be viewed on the home page map.

  • To ensure you can see it, select the Layer Switcher icon and make sure that the Pre-survey data is set as visible in the Form Layers section.

This record is now ready to be used in a full survey and we look at that process in the following document – How to do a full survey.

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