Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies
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The Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS) were commissioned by Natural England to carry out a biotope survey of 8 monitoring transects around Flamborough Head first surveyed by Howson in 2001. The data gathered from the surveys was used to compare to the original biotopes recorded in 2001, and provide an assessment of the Reef Feature using advice from Regulation 33. The survey found that most of the transects were broadly similar to the original surveys in terms of the presence and diversity of biotopes recorded. The main notable differences were the loss off Mytilus biotopes from transects 2 and 4, and a expansion in Mytilus biotopes in transect 9. The first target set by Regulation 33, of no decrease in extent and diversity of rocky shore biotopes has been met, with Flamborough Head still notable for its range of rocky shore biotopes. The second target set by Regulation 33 is to ensure that the distribution of characteristic chalk cliff biotopes, LR.FLR.CvOv.ChrHap, LR.FLR.Lic.Bli and LR.FLR.Lic.UloUro does not significantly decrease from the original baseline survey. This could not be assessed as none of these biotopes were present along the monitoring transects in the original or subsequent survey. Recommendations for future surveying of the transects around Flamborough Head are; to have a consistent survey methodology for greater inter-survey comparability, more regular targeted surveying of transects where significant biotope change has occurred (i.e. Mytilus biotopes of transects 2, 4, and 9) incorporated within a less frequent comprehensive survey programme, and surveying to occur during late summer/early autumn when seaweeds are at greatest diversity.