An extensive survey of the AONB will establish baseline ecological data, helped by citizen scientists. This will enable us to understand more about Nidderdale's wildlife and what we need to do to conserve it for future generations.
Data will be entered into a modelling program which predicts the geographical distribution of a species based on the environmental conditions at locations where the species is known to occur. Fine resolution habitat suitability maps will be produced to display predictions of how suitable an area is for a species. This is shown by a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) ranging from 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (highly suitable habitat). Habitat suitability maps provide an excellent visual tool for decision-making by conservationists and planners, and highlight areas where conservation efforts should be targeted.
Citizen Scientists will gather scientifically robust data and engages local people. So far it has recruited 89 volunteers to carryout surveys, carried out over 1500 surveys and held 119 events with over 3,000 people attending.