Our second visit to Batts Combe was highly productive despite the best efforts of the wonderful British weather. We divided into two teams with one group remaining within the quarry at the bench survey site, continuing to perform manual vegetation surveying.
Launching the drone, we began to photograph the donor meadow. A 32GB memory card mounted on the drone allowed us to take imagery without limitation. Two metres altitude was found to be optimal for balancing image quality with the effects of downdraft from the rotors. The image quality showed promise with many species of herbs and grasses identifiable, especially those in flower or with a clear view of leaf shape.
After a quick battery change, the drone team moved on to the tipping site and began to photograph the vegetation from the air, using rulers placed on the ground for image scale. A darkening sky and sudden rain resulted in a quick landing but not before we had managed to acquire some more good quality imagery.
After the rain had passed, the group at the bench site concluded their vegetation survey and the entire team met up at the donor meadow to perform some final quadrats.
Despite another soaking we had acquired many quality drone images of all three sites which will now be closely inspected for species identification. Future flights will explore the quarry benches that are normally inaccessible. Weather conditions and time limited the surveying we could perform which will be completed on our next visit.