The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is a standardised classification developed for plant communities in the UK. It uses the types of plant species present and the relative abundance of each to classify the habitat, which is often then represented on an electronically produced map. This type of survey is sometimes required for larger infrastructure projects or housing developments.
NVC surveys can only be carried out during the plant growing season (April to September inclusively).
Samples are recorded from a number of quadrats, deployed across each different habitat type. All plant species and their relative abundance within each homogenous habitat will be recorded. The data is then be used to classify each habitat within the site into their NVC communities.
Following the Survey
A report will be produced detailing the survey methodologies, results, an assessment of the species recorded and an evaluation of any potential ecological issues which may be associated with the site. The report will also include recommendations for appropriate mitigation measures.
The plant species recorded may be used to determine appropriate management options for a site. In some cases, the presence of certain floral species may influence the management with regards to protected/notable faunal species. For example, the dingy skipper, a UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework Priority Species, prefers to feed on common bird's foot trefoil, therefore areas where the butterfly and plant are present may require management in order to ensure the butterfly's continued persistence.