Poole Harbour algal mats aerial surveys (2017 / 2018)
Client: Natural England
BUG was commissioned by Natural England to conduct monthly aerial surveys at four intertidal locations within Poole Harbour to assess the coverage, growth and die-back of algal mats.
Surveys are being conducted using a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS), or drone, to collect high resolution imagery from an altitude of 50 m, providing a ground resolution of 2.1 cm/pixel. Four bays around Poole Harbour are being surveyed; Brand’s Bay, Newton Bay, Arne Bay and Holes Bay during 2017 and 2018.
For each survey, the collected images are stitched together into a high resolution geo-referenced orthomosaic, which can then be imported into GIS software for assessing the change in distribution and abundance of algal mat coverage throughout the season.
Using drones for rapid collection of high resolution geo-referenced imagery is proving to be a very efficient and cost-effective way of assessing and managing natural habitats.