Frequently asked questions

Q: How long is a survey reach in cRHS?
A: 500m

Q: Why do we need to walk a further 50m at the end of the 10 spot-checks?
A: If you pace 10 spot-checks, you have walked 450m, so you need to pace an additional 50m to come to the end of the 500m site

Q: What do we do if the channel is not accessible at a spot-check?
A: Walk downstream or upstream to where the site of your spot-check is visible. Take photographs and a video, noting in the commentary the location of where the spot-check is.

Q: How long does it take to carry out one cRHS?
A: This can vary between 30 mins to 90 mins, depending on the complexity of the site features, and your experience as a surveyor. It shouldn't take longer than 2 hours maximum.

Q: How do we decide where to carry out the survey?
A: During the training we will take you to sites where you can practice the survey. The organisation overseeing the cRHS will direct you to stretches of rivers they would like you to survey, or you can carry out the survey anywhere you have permission to - the survey can be done on any river.

Q: Who do I send the cRHS videos & data to once I have completed a survey?
A: You need to send your survey form, spot-check videos and any photographs to RRC. You can email us, or use a file drop off system such as WeTransfer or DropBox.

Q: Do I need to learn different river vegetation species?
A: No – there are lots of vegetation species, we do not expect you to learn them! The survey form records the vegetation structure type (e.g., is it submerged vegetation, or grasses/herbs/trees) to give an indication of the diversity of the river and potential habitats. The survey does not record vegetation species types.

Q: Do I need to repeat cRHS for each season to capture seasonal variability?
A: No, cRHS aims to capture the condition of the river and does not depend on the season.

Q: When is the best time to carry out the survey?
A: Surveys should ideally be carried out when aquatic vegetation growth is evident, but not excessive, and water levels are not high. If a prolonged period of heavy rain occurs, a survey should be delayed until both water level and clarity, return to acceptable levels. In some lowland UK rivers abundant vegetation growth in summer will obscure some channel features. Surveys during this period should be avoided.