A stream and rocks


RAPID 2.1 is a digital data entry system designed to capture and store River Habitat Survey data in the field using a Tablet PC.  The application will calculate HQA and HMS values for completed surveys. It can also be used as a desk-based application for entering and storing RHS data from paper field sheets.


RAPID 2.1 was developed for Countryside Survey 2007, to assist in the assessment of the biological and physical condition of headwater streams across Britain. For Countryside Survey, the River Habitat Survey (RHS) method was used to record the hydromorphological condition of streams. The RHS method was developed by the Environment Agency (EA) and is routinely used to assess the physical habitat quality of watercourses throughout the UK. In RHS, the physical character of the stream is assessed over a 500m stretch, recording both in-stream and bank-side features. The information is normally recorded on a standard four-page paper field sheet. For CS2007 we created a digital version of this field sheet to allow RHS data to be entered directly into a database, using a Tablet PC; cutting out the resource-consuming and potentially error-prone step of entering data from field sheets to a database.


  • RAPID 2.1 provides a clear and simple user interface for entering and storing RHS data. The design of the forms mirrors that of the paper field sheets as much as possible.
  • RAPID 2.1 will validate the data entered and warn the surveyor of any instances of missing data or double-entry of data. When using a Tablet PC in the field, this validation can be carried out while still at the survey site so that any issues can be quickly resolved.
  • RAPID 2.1 makes extensive use of drop-down boxes for data entry, thus ensuring that only relevant codes can be entered in any given section.
  • RAPID 2.1 will calculate the Habitat Quality Assessment score (2.1 version) and Habitat Modification Score (2003 version) for each completed survey in the database. It also provides the sub-scores behind both indices.
  • RAPID 2.1 can also be used as a user-friendly desk-based data entry system for transferring RHS paper field sheets to a database and subsequent exporting of RHS results.

Anyone completing RHS surveys should first be accredited by the EA. Accreditation lasts for three years. If surveyors wish to retain their accreditation after this time, they must undertake refresher training. Courses are offered by the EA every year.  Please contact the EA RHS team for more details.
Please note that all accredited River Habitat Surveyors intending to forward RHS data to the EA should use the latest paper version of the RHS form for field data entry. The Environment Agency can only accept paper copies of completed RHS forms.
Instructions on how to install and set up RAPID 2.1 on a Tablet or Desk-top PC are in the User Manual, supplied with RAPID 2.1.


(Please note that RAPID 2.1 is not currently suitable for use in Access 2007.)

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