The South Downs National Park Authority is responsible, among other things, for the management of two key long-distance trails: the Serpent Trail, approximately 100 km in length, meandering from Haslemere to Petersfield and the 200 km South Downs Way from Beachy Head to Winchester. In early 2014, exeGesIS were asked to complete a full baseline survey of these two trails, capturing information about the assets on the trails (e.g. gates, stiles bridges & signage) and any issues or problems.
The initial stage was to work with the authority to develop a methodology for the survey, deciding what data needed to be collected and what standards should be applied: there is always an element of subjectivity in determining what criteria should be met for an asset to be considered satisfactory, and this was an area where exeGesIS were able to bring considerable experience to bear. Once the methodology was agreed, exeGesIS collated the existing data from the authority and completed preparations for the fieldwork.
The fieldwork was completed in just six weeks by one of exeGesIS’s experienced public rights of way surveyors. This involved the collection of information on over 1,800 assets and over 900 issues, and the capture of more than 3,000 photographs. All of the data were uploaded into the exeGesIS Countryside Access Management System (CAMS) software for analysis and reporting.
In addition to a series of reports, both summary statistics and detail reports, the data collected were loaded into the South Downs National Park Authority’s own CAMS solution, allowing them to interact with the data and carry out their own searching, reporting and analysis. This also provided them with a wealth of information that can be used and updated in their ongoing management of the trails.
Further information from Timothy Derbyshire.