The MoRPh Rivers field survey was originally designed for use by citizen scientists and non-profit organizations. It now forms one component of a suite of tools developed for assessing the condition of rivers, streams and canals as part of the Watercourse Unit Module within The Statutory Biodiversity Metric and the calculation of Biodiversity Net Gain.

While MoRPh Citizen Science training provides a valuable approach for volunteers and researchers to gather evidence and build understanding of changes in the physical habitats of rivers and streams using a basic set of 14 MoRPh module indicators, all CS data are open source are shared via the CaBA Data Hub.

Our MoRPh Professional and River Condition Assessment (RCA) training combines the user-friendly MoRPh field survey with a geomorphological River Type desk study to generate and help interpret a detailed set of 37 MoRPh Pro indicators and raw data, securely saved in a private workspace. The River Condition Assessment method and training provides environmental professionals with the in-depth knowledge and software tools to enable the baseline assessment of River Condition together with scenario modelling for target condition, as needed for Biodiversity Net Gain reporting. The RCA method can also be used for other types of post-intervention investigations e.g. river restoration or NFM objective appraisals.

River Condition Assessment Tools

The figure below outlines the structure of the River Condition Assessment. The individual components are discussed below:

1. MoRPh Field Survey

A field survey identical to MoRPh Rivers that characterises the local physical structure of a river channel and its margins. The MoRPh field survey is typically conducted over a river length of 10 to 40m.

2. MoRPh5

A sequence of 5 adjacent MoRPh surveys quantifies over 30 indicators that contribute to a preliminary condition score for a river subreach.

3. River Type Survey

A desk-based reach-scale (5 to 10 km) study identifies the hydro-geomorphological river type. This translates the preliminary condition score for each MoRPh5 into a final condition class, which reflects the baseline and together with wider contextual information and professional knowledge, helps to inform what is achievable for that river type.